July 2009

A house wren ascends a stepladder in the steady rain. With a sudden crack, the cherry tree beside the porch sheds a dead branch.

Glory be to God for punctuation: the fawn’s spots glowing in the gloom, drifting insect-motes, garlic in the yard, a ten-second rain.

Two years later, the branch still dangles upside-down above the forest floor. A hummingbird pauses over a tansy and taps it with her bill.

Scattered bird calls at dawn give the impression of a distant chorus, the way trees on a savanna blend into a false forest a half mile away.

A chipmunk’s steady drip. How many years have I been sitting here? I remember each stage in the lichen’s conquest of the springhouse roof.

The jesters’ caps on the topheading garlic have begun to split, revealing dense clusters of miniature selves. A raven’s mechanical laughter.

The misty sunrise puts me in a Hallmark mood: Roses are brown,/ violets, long dead./ This coffee is bitter/ and goes straight to my head.