Some days I don't notice the nuthatch
climbing the cinnamon scales of a pine tree,
or the honeybee paused
on the edge of the birdbath, drinking.
Some days I see only the skim
of a hamburger wrapper floating in the bayou,
a chain link fence studded with plastic bags,
a still gray form in the middle of the road,
I lose some days entirely,
as if this world can do without me,
as if the way back is not just a few feet away,
where a lime green katydid
the size of a staple is waiting
for my astonishment.
Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in coastal Alabama and enjoys a retirement of gardening, painting, and writing. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories, Survival Skills, was published by Ashland Creek Press and short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award. Lovers and Loners is her second story collection. Strange Company, a compilation of her nature essays, is available in digital form, paperback and audio. She has also published a novel, Lost Sister. https://jean-ryan.com/