I dreamt half my life was spent
in wonder, and never suspected.

So immersed in the moment
I forgot I was ever there.

Red-tailed hawk turning
resistance into ecstasy.

The patrolmen joking with the drunk
whose butt seemed glued to the sidewalk.

A coral quince blossom in winter,
pink as a lover’s present.

And tilting my bamboo umbrella
against the warm slant

of rain, was I not a happy peasant
crossing the great bay on a bridge that began

who knows when, and will end
who knows when?

Thomas Centolella, “View #45” from Views from along the Middle Way.
Copyright (c) 2002 by Thomas Centolella.  Used with the permission of The
Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Photo by Virginie Lenoir