If Trees Could Laugh

the trees and I
look at each other

if trees could laugh
I’d laugh with them

but

we are giddy over the
sunsets we’ve missed

lost in heavy storms
day after day

but today after the
rain there was a lull

filled with quiet and
peace that permitted

the children to come out
and play until dinner

or dark whichever comes
first

the sun is setting
unseen behind a cloud

filled sky casting a
dull light erasing any

shadows barely bright
and low in the western

sky making room for the
night when the trees

will dance and sway and
perhaps laugh because

I know

if trees could laugh
I’d laugh with them

Traffic Light

It is a delightful day. The sun
and the birds are plentiful.
The bird songs exquisite!

I can’t tell one bird from the
other. So that makes me a
bird listener as I could never

be a bird watcher. Fifty-four
years ago this month I was
in Vietnam. I had to take a

color vision test. You know
the oneā€”each page has a big
circle and in each big circle

there are a bunch of small
circles. I was told that there
is a big number in each of

the big circles. I flipped
through all of them. No
numbers for me. Not a one.

I don’t know what you see,
but I do know it is different
than what I see. For the most

part, my life is devoid of color.
My life view is made up of light
and dark. Lighter or darker.

I guess I live in the shadows of
shades of gray where there is
an occasional flash of yellow or

green. A few years after we were
married we realized that we had
a color problem. She would point

to her thigh and say, “Do you see
that? See that red area. That is
where the pain is,” as she rubbed.

“Sorry, I don’t see a thing.”

The following week she’d ask me
to look in her eye, “You see that?
It really itches; you see the red.”

“Sorry, I don’t see a thing. I can’t
see red on black.”

So, I told her the same thing I am
telling you. I failed the color vision
test way back when she was five.

It was time for dinner and I couldn’t
resist, “So, you’re black? I married a
black woman? Why didn’t you tell me!”

I think she punched me in the arm.
Then laughed, “Once you’ve had black,
baby, there is no going back!”

I shook my head.

She asked, “So how do you see things?”
I answered, “My dear Mrs. Gray, I take
life one traffic light at a time.”