Alan: I’ve been to places where these feisty little guys are everywhere, shouting and posturing from the tips of branches. Here, we only ever seem to have one, and it stays out of sight. It often wakes me, in April and May; after that, I hardly hear it at all.
The Winter Wren
You do not come here in Winter
but in wintry Spring, old snow
still tucked up under trees
and along the shaded edges of fields
and back roads.
In this country you are never seen;
rather, from the thicket, before dawn,
the long line of your song casts,
looping, into pooled shadows
where, hungry for anything
this silvery and bright,
Nancy: Commitments. Responsibilities. Demands. And out there... the wild, compelling call of my favorite bird.
Bones Filled With Air
The wind came up at night
and it blew offshore
and the small birds settled
and the Willets rose up crying;
they called me out
they pointed to another bay
they rode off on the wind, calling.
Then I looked at the walls I had built.
Paper walls. Paper windows. Paper between
me and the wind; every day
another layer of paper.
I opened the door and I left it ajar.
We fly toward the sun, toward stone,
toward eelgrass. On the hill behind me,
the dogs have covered their eyes with their paws
and the door swings in the wind.
“Bones Filled With Air” first appeared in Fencing Wildness (Slow Dancer Press, 1999)