I’m used to the noise of a water pump,
refrigerator, and furnace. They speak
to me intermittently. Nothing more.
Once, however, a squawking bird got in,
and that day will go down as one during
which something talked to me besides four walls
and furniture. I caught the bird in a soft towel,
unlocked the door, and let it sing again
to surrounding sky. It would seem easy
to adapt, but I believe more in
the presence of people than in the sobering
seclusion of solitude. Some days my whole life
is an unmoving painting, a static scene
wherein I am there. Nothing more. Sometimes
I turn on a spigot to hear water splash
into the sink or open and shut a door to catch
the unmistakable squeak of a hinge in need
of oil. I lower my head against snow
and carry in logs for the fireplace. Blue flames
rise from kindling, pour over the logs
like an embrace of hands. I look behind me.
Was I expecting company, or is it the taunt
of nothing more than shadows?
About the Author
R. Nikolas (Nik) Macioci earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English, named Nik the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio. Nik is the author of two chapbooks as well as nine books. His first book, Cafes of Childhood, was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. In 2021, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net award. In 2022, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. More than two hundred of his poems have been published here and abroad in magazines and journals, including Chiron, Concho River Review, The Bombay Review, and Blue Unicorn.