For the heron that rousts the swamp, thank you.
And for spiders shocked into gradual sleep.
The rakes near the fence remind me to thank you
for balm. Thank you for ducks that tuck patterns
into various codes, because in the absence
of sunlight, the yard spades to a saturate brown.
Sometimes a song curls back down my throat.
Sometimes gourds rot or frail cocoons get torn
from the reeds. I hunt for paralyzed stances and nests
out here where the air is chilled with sly surprise.
Before the Billington crusts with frost
I gather river stones blotched with crystals.
Thank you for showing me how things grip inward:
choral frogs, sap that slows in its thermal sleeves.
No easy transitions, just recurring motifs,
warped wands that blend the species of wind.
When oaks molt their crowns, their colors spill
to my shoulders. Sometimes egg sacs burr
the fur of animals and fall into patchwork light.
Most of us hunker down for a while and sleep,
but some move around and listen for the hum
of a secondary life. I can hear it today, even back
in my garage, where all the sills are filled with flies.
ISSUE: Spring 2004