The Left Hand of God


He learned so long ago

that hardship is not for the young.

But he can still close his eyes

and name all the trees

by the sound of their leaves.

Now, his beard gray-flecked and foxed


by wind, he shares his day-old sandwich

with gulls, their acrylic

yellow bills eating, screeching, in arias

of dissonance. They stand

on the bench like funerary guardians,

his own aviary flock yielding to the divine.


Rich Luftig