read by the author, Billy Collins (purchased on Audible)
This morning as I walked along the lake shore, I fell in love with a wren and later in the day with a mouse the cat had dropped under the dining room table In the shadows of an autumn evening, I fell for a seamstress still at her machine in the tailor's window, and later for a bowl of broth, steam rising like smoke from a naval battle. This is the best kind of love, I thought, without recompense, without gifts, or unkind words, without suspicion, or silence on the telephone. The love of the chestnut, the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel. No lust, no slam of the door--- the love of the miniature orange tree, the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower, the highway that cuts across Florida. No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor--- just a twinge every now and then for the wren who had built her nest on a low branch overhanging the water and for the dead mouse, still dressed in its light brown suit. But my heart is always standing on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. After I carried the mouse by the tail to a pile of leaves in the woods, I found myself standing at the bathroom sink gazing down affectionately at the soap, so patient and soluble, so at home in its pale green soap dish. I could feel myself falling again as I felt its turning in my wet hands and caught the scent of lavender and stone.