on the page magazine

issue no. 11, summer 2004


Lazy Sunday

by Janet McCann

Earliest spring, spent the time on the deck
reading, cat by my side, she'd go off
to chase a bug or lizard, but come back,

and now and then I'd put my book away
just to stare at the sky between the branches
or watch the sun set the whole tree ablaze

from behind the bole. Where, I thought, the cool
air pushing the leaves past my perch,
did we ever get the idea that it was right,

was necessary, Godly even, to be always
doing something? Wind moved the branches
and in the house the telephone rang itself

into silence. The sun slowly
slipped down the tree, the light thickened slowly
and the neighbors, eager gardeners, went inside.

As long as the light remained I read on,
it was a story about the past. The cat
chased the leaves, the bugs. The characters

got in and out of carriages and fell
in and out of love, and I stayed on
long past the ending, till the light

was liquid silver turning cold, the wind
had fallen, and the cat, after bigger game,
had gone into the woods behind the house.

Janet McCann has been a professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of English since 1969 and has been published in the Kansas Quarterly, Parnassus, Nimrod, Sou'wester, New York Quarterly, Tendril, Poetry Australia and McCall's. She has co-edited two anthologies, Odd Angles of Heaven (1994) and Place of Passage (now in press with Story Line.) Her most recent book is Looking for Buddha in the Barbed Wire Garden (1996). She was awarded a NEA Creative Writing fellowship in 1989.

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