He draws breath
through his first cigarette
close to daybreak,
and shuffles himself in bare feet and heavy
blue terry cloth robe
down a concrete driveway,
below phone line the pale grey squirrel travels
like his personal super highway,
to pick up the newspaper
and bring it inside.
I’ve never seen him smoke,
I don’t need to-
the perfume of morning shifts
when his ritual begins.
These rituals, their shapes,
appreciation arrives despite
our never having exchanged
a word.