Trying to learn patience and delay
gratification on this quiet Sunday,

I sit on the wood deck near the pond,
dusk infused with fragrant Osmanthus.

Thirsty squirrels take last sips from the edge.
Blue jays make a sleepy ruffle in the redwoods.

20 years ago, my professor declared,
“The moon is a dead symbol!”

A glass of Chardonnay glitters
on the table painted with ivory half-moons

smattered with harlequin-colored stars. I vow
to sit until deep dark, barely taste the wine,

want to see how color changes. Nightfall:
oak leaves blacken, sharp as beaks spattered

in a charcoal sky. A flash of white, a young skunk,
little shaman, trots silently up the stony streambed.

The wine now spiked with gold crescents.—
if my glass had emptied, I would have missed

this watery well, silvery disc outlining
my profile in lunar light, feet bathed in amber.