I’ve noticed
That if I notice
At least five unique sights, sounds, or smells
On my morning walks,
Then I know I am present;
On this splendid fleeting day
I am available
Rather than caught up
By thoughts or concerns:

Today I counted
Twenty-two goldfinches
Flying                 one by one      into the top branches;

Blooming bits of yellow blazed
Newly erupted on stalks of roadside mullein;

Under each oak tree in the pasture
A cluster of cattle
With tiny newborns,
The field dotted with a half dozen
Nursery classrooms;

The grasses that benefit from irrigation
Stand out      against those that don’t
With a dark Hooker’s Green
Ranging       wide      across     the     field,
As if painted with a strong gesture
And a fat brush;

A musky fragrance like wet weeds
Blends with strong manure
And suddenly I am a child tramping along the edges
Of Pennsylvania farmlands.

I notice
I have stopped counting.

Formerly an English teacher at community college and high school levels, Joy Willow is a classically trained musician as well as a writer and painter. She currently teaches voice in Sonora, California and gives workshops on performance poetry