Wind from the Northeast, coming this way,
but its hands are empty
                                         and it’s not talking.

The shadblow bushes are all ashiver with finches,
Fusillades of song,
                                        the content lost in translation.
My own backyard,
                                        and I am at sea. Inscrutability
on all sides. Squirrels, birds, foxes,
even the trees are all talking to each other. Not to me.
                                                                       Keeping secrets.

I have a well-rehearsed commitment to contentment
that settles the mind like a benign occupying force,
                                                                      while rations last.
Still, I can’t help but notice —
yes, everything is keeping its secrets.
                                                                     What could we expect
who long since shattered the contract?

                                                                      Do you also
practice contentment like a life-jacket drill
on shipboard in rough weather?
                                                           Do you scan the local scene
                                for its signals sent?
For its content meant?
What is it saying to you — the lost world
                                                                 you describe into being
for and in and to yourself?

Jennifer M. Phillips is an immigrant, retired Episcopal Priest, gardener, grower of Bonsai, painter, and has been writing and publishing poetry and prose since age seven. Phillips grew up in upstate New York and has lived in New England, London, New Mexico, St.Louis, Rhode Island, & Cape Cod, Massachusetts.