The shadow of a bird
perches on the shadow of a branch
stretching across my glossy oak floor.
We are near December
and we feel ourselves between
the give and take of the season,
between the wind-surge that riles the trees
and the simmering of the afternoon sun.
The jay's shadow-crown is ruffled.
His tail pinions dip and snap back like a baton.
The black staves of the shadow birch
lurch, leap and, finally, still.
I see him in the center of the floor:
his shadow-head like a rain cloud
or a barren mound, his black pen prodding
shadow-words across the oak-dark page.
Observed and observer, we stare, a standoff,
as the evening settles like dust in the room.
I'm waiting to see what the shadow will do.
He's waiting in hopes I will make
the first move.