morning walk after the rain

crafted into a poem

A garage door squeaks,
my dog’s collar
and some equipment being wheeled out of a truck clang.
The low, electric hum of the cicadas,
an occasional chirping bird,
the buzz of a plane
mingle with my footfalls on the sidewalk.

The wet pavement reflects,
water from the fountain in a backyard trickles.
More water whooshes under wheels,
puddles on sidewalks,
gushes in sewers and
drops on my baseball cap.

An orange construction cone decorates the gray cement blocks
haphazardly stacked on a driveway.
A yellow leaf falling off a tree brightens my view.
A yellow school crossing sign illuminates the gray sky.
A yellow seat from a rope swing softens the gnarled branch it hangs from.
Flowers in burgundy, gold, pink and light purple clash.
Darker black asphalt patches disrupt the smooth cement of the sidewalk.
The not bright blue,
not powder blue,
maybe cornflower blue Adirondack chairs wait
while the bright red chairs watch indifferently as I pass by.
The purple leaves lay on the path, ugly and dead.

A squirrel darts across the street.
A runner jogs in the street.
A car stops in the middle of the street.
Another car is parked on the street,
a tarp covering its smashed-in window.

Somewhere a truck backs up
beep beep beep
A squirrel rustles in a tree branch overhead
shoosh shoosh shoosh
Crows have a conversation
Caw caw caw
My shoe crushes a walnut shell
crunch crunch crunch
A dog barks low, then high
ruff ruff arrr arrr
And water falls from the trees

the transcript from my voice memo, recorded while walking and paying attention

The squeaking of the garage door
The glistening reflections on the wet pavement
The trickling water from the fountain in somebody’s backyard
The low, electric hum of the cicadas
An occasional chirping bird
My footfalls on the wet pavement
The trickling of the water in the sewer after the rain
The wheels of the stroller approaching me, almost feeling hostile and threatening
The whoosh of the water under the wheels
The clanging of Delia the dog’s tags on her leash
The big orange construction cone on the driveway, amidst the grayish brown wood and cement blocks
An occasional drip of water, sometimes a plop, sometimes just a drip
The traffic way in the distance
Some unspecified hums
A single yellow leaf falling off a tree already having lost most of its leaves
Burgundy and yellow flowers next to pink and light purple ones
Small puddles on the sidewalk
Darker black asphalt patches where the sidewalk has been repaired
Drips from the trees on my hat
A squirrel running quickly across the street even though there’s no danger of a car
Water rushing in the sewer
The not bright blue, not powder blue, maybe cornflower blue Adirondack chairs
A runner running by out in the street, fun to watch their stride—so graceful
and relaxed
The ugly purple leaves on the ground
A car just in the middle of the road for some unknown reason
Some cars approaching me with their lights on, some without
the Furry fuzz
Clanging from a truck, unloading scaffolding perhaps, unloading some sort of equipment that I’m not turning around to see
It echoes in the otherwise calm, peaceful morning
Talk radio birthdays: T.S. Eliot, Ira Gershwin
I keep listening to hear what kind of talk radio it is
An interesting bark from a dog, deep and low and then high pitched and whiny
A gray car that’s been in an accident
Milkweed pods, some black and dead, others still green and ready to burst
A bright yellow school crossing sign
A slightly paler yellow seat, rope swing on a big tree with gnarled branches
A plane overhead
Waling through clumps of wet, dead leaves on the sidewalk
A bright red chair in front of a green house
The crunch of a walnut shell or a stick under my shoe
A squirrel running ahead of us on the path
Another bright red chair
and two red cars
A truck backing up
somewhere nearby
but not that close.
More drips.
Beautiful mums in pots on the front steps
The light from a front door still on. Was it left on by accident overnight, or is it just because it’s darker this morning?
A squirrel overhead, rustling in a tree branch
More planes and crows