J is for jays: the gray ones that eat from your hand at Rainier but are elusive by the marsh in the Adirondacks; the Steller’s of the northwest; the western scrubs and pinyons whose paths I’ve rarely crossed; our common ones whose varied blues, when really viewed, are impossibly beautiful.
J is for the jacks I used to swipe up, letting the ball bounce only once; for Judi Johnson down the street in 1971; for my nephew Jack and my niece Jean; and especially for jabirus (whom I’ve only always seen in zoos).
J is for all the uttered justs of Christians (lord I just ask that, lord I just pray that); it’s for the joejamiejimjamesjonjohn boys I’ve kissed; it’s for the Jameson whiskey Dewey used to always share; it’s for the jelly beans I will forever shun.
J is for the Joneses in my record collection: Norah, Quincy, and Rickie Lee. It’s for the generous juniper berries that gave their lives for my gin. J is for Jabberwocky’s Jubjub bird (but not the frumious Bandersnatch). It’s for the jangle of keys, for the jumps I’ve taken and the ones I never will.
J is for jest, which surely I do.