Sun rises on your early morning; its white
bright high beam cresting the new horizon.
Coffee mist rolls over your wet cup rim,
while time expands in this southern truck stop
for mending faulty lights, washing laundry.
As the second cigarette fades into ash
you step down from the cab, let yourself
see the truck as another would: black
and chrome, old school and new power.
You smile, still scanning, and then see her.
An unexpected visitor. Wings folded,
mottled marble: chocolate, obsidian, white.
Her scales lie in a brindle pattern, swirls
like fine-grained wood. Her feathery legs
striped, long, grip a random plastic edge.
She has flown in the dark and lit, attracted
by light bouncing off the small silver circle
she covers now with her body. She hangs
blinded and heavy in the morning warnth.
It is all you can do not to touch her.
You wonder at her tenacity, the oddness
of her presence, her meaning. Is this
a serendipitous message, a happy accident
to celebrate. Or is she your caveat?
The last thing you want is for her to leave.
(Published in Clover, a Literary Rag Volume 14 Winter 2017)