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On a summer morning,
while the breeze
blowing through the open windows
is still cool enough to keep
them open,
here in the country
I hear chimes in the wind,
guinea fowl squawks,
Mockingbird’s repertoire,
one of Cardinal’s calls,
Meadowlark’s sweet song.

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On a summer morning
in the city,
through early-morning’s open windows
I hear Mockingbird and Cardinal singing,
but tear myself away to drive
to Lake Hefner,
one of Oklahoma City’s reservoirs
to meet a friend for our weekly walk together.
Walking the trails
that wind around the lake,
we nod our greeting to other walkers,
runners, bikers; marvel
at the cool early July breeze in the shade,
at giant patches of sunflowers
just starting to bloom,
and stop to look more closely at unknown trees.
We take a side trip onto a pier
and greet friendly fishers,
stand still for a moment
to catch watery light and shadow.

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By week’s end
city friends have joined me
back at the farm. It is almost
too hot to leave the house open now. And
the pond has just burst
into an algae bloom, so there will be no water
play. But there is still a cool breeze
as we set chairs
in the shade of a Hackberry, old Junipers.
And there is shared food, of the freshest kind,
a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher spotting
and good-humored conversation
in this circle
that enriches
and softens
life.

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