Somewhere to Call Home
Honeybees, heavily laden with nectar and pollen from rosemary, marigolds, and sage, fly weary miles back to their hive. A conspiracy of ravens croak and soar and roost noisily in dense dark-green conifer trees. A fluffle of brown rabbits finish nibbling clover and wildflowers and dig deep, cozy burrows unaware that nearby a fox is asleep in his den. In the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, a pod of dolphins swims slowly and steadily close to the surface. Two polar bears curl up in a shallow pit in the snow, their backs turned to icy wind.
After a hard day’s work herding sheep from steep, barren hills in the South Island of New Zealand, a thin border collie is chained alone in a cold iron kennel and howls hungrily at a shifty yellow half-moon. A horse in a stable quietly dozes as it stands in a warm bed of straw. A tortoiseshell cat with a neat white bib pushes through her cat flap and jumps onto the soft woolen rug at the end of the bed, where she washes her silky fur carefully and gently purrs herself to sleep.
A Japanese businessman steps off the Yamanote line and into an elevator, which whistles him to a small apartment on the 10th floor where he shares with his wife a meal of miso and pickles, of sashimi, fresh vegetables, and rice. They drink hot sake from small cups before they stretch out on the firm futon which they have pulled out on to the floor. In a mean San Francisco street, a teenage boy with an old man’s eyes drinks dinner from a bottle and lies down on damp cardboard and throws a threadbare blanket over his grimy jeans. The Queen of England sips a pre-bed flute of champagne while guards in bright red tunics and bearskin hats stand stonily outside her Palace walls.
I finish my homework, throw sticks in the yard for Pongo to chase until Dad calls me inside. Mom’s made Mac and Cheese. We watch television together and then Mom says it’s time for bed.