When a traffic light is blinking, it means be careful. When the clock is blinking, it means the time it shows is incorrect. When the answering machine is blinking, it means there’s a message. I wake sometimes & struggle to remember where I am: rapid blinking usually brings it back. It’s easy to forget there’s a mountain under me—a low one, to be sure, but one that stretches all the way to Georgia, its name changing every 25 miles.

How many times a minute does a hummingbird blink? I watch one hover over the red porch floor made glossy by wind-blown rain. A catbird on a dead limb tilts its head to eye the clouds. Soon enough, they’ll both be gone. The mountain, on the other hand, barely moves, like a snake that has just swallowed something huge & toothy. I wake sometimes at four in the morning & go outside to listen, just in case.

In response to an entry from The Morning Porch.

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