August 2016

The clouds of white snakeroot in my yard host one tiger swallowtail, glamorous as a celebrity in a trailer court. A raven’s metallic croak.

Five cabbage whites gadding about in the garden draw my attention to a tangle of crested buckwheat, red stems threaded through the bergamot.

The sudden crash of a limb breaks the stillness. A red admiral butterfly lands beside my book, wings opening and closing—a wilder text.

A warm morning, and all I hear are the birds of winter: chickadee, nuthatch, pileated woodpecker. A dead cranefly dangles from a spiderweb.

Cool with a scrim of cloud. From high in the canopy, a scarlet tanager’s hoarse song—the first in weeks. A sudden sweet smell I can’t place.

A female hummingbird leaves the beebalm to check out the red lettering on my t-shirt, a sleek green torpedo hovering inches from my chest.

The cicada chorus ebbs and swells. I notice the big tulip tree has shed all its drought-yellowed leaves from a month ago and is green again.