Drowning in darkness next to my sleeping wife I wait for a glimmer
of sun. With twitching eyeballs, I listen to the persistent hum of highway
traffic relentless as the broken record in my head.
So many calamitous possibilities. I don’t know what to worry about first.
If I play possum, lying still, holding my breath, maybe I’ll be safe right here
in bed. Will the enemy of my enemies be my friend?

Cacophonous hubbub of trucks and cars grind ahead. Low flying planes zoom
into Teterboro. The haunting whistle of a train, reminds me of the long-drawn
unearthly wail of the red-throated loon on Limekiln Lake.

Car doors slam, drunken conversation pollute the air:
“Whatcha doin peein on my peonies!”
A double-barreled exhaust speeds by, like a potato cannon, waking up
a squirrel in the Have-a-Heart trap in my attic who clatters back and forth.

Flashing strobe lights flicker on my windows, spotlights from a prison tower.
The scoliotic veterinarian who lives next door has a yapping Pomeranian.
He kicks it along, hoisting it by the scruff of its neck like Lyndon Johnson.

My old aunt Ida wore a plume of red and black feathers on her hat,
a scrawny little lady, she was consumed with fright
and worry, begging everyone to stay home
and hide under the bed. She fled
from pogroms at her Vilnius shtetl to
work at the Triangle Shirtwaist sweatshop.
She warned how unsafe the world is, seeing nothing but danger.
Her edematic feet in substantial Red Cross shoes
were always ready to run. Her jangled nerves
never recovered from not being one of the 146 young women
she witnessed jumping out of those flaming windows.