Homecoming, Brian Rihlmann

a hoarse dove croons
and a stained glass owl
stares at me wide-eyed
as it dangles from the eaves
of the house i’ve been watching
for the past two months
pretending i’m middle class

pruning wind-snapped limbs
shoveling “my” driveway
parking in a garage

pacing twenty steps
instead of five

those eyes stare impatiently
as i sit in the morning sunshine
reminding me of the many things
i have left to do
before the arizona snowbirds return

water the plants
wash the sheets
wipe the granite countertops

(clear the computer’s browser history…)

all these tasks
i’ve put off
not because they are hard

but because the drive home
ten miles across town
to sirens
lowrider bass
chattering roommates
and street parking
is so damn long

from a nearby pine tree
a blue jay squawks obnoxiously
i pick a fallen pinecone
from the grass
and hurl it
clattering through branches
as he flies off
shrieking his discontent


Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, “Ordinary Trauma,” (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.

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