bracken

The warmest morning in weeks. The bracken in my yard that the deer mowed down has raised defiant fists. A red-eyed vireo drones on and on.

The brackens in my yard have turned from brown to burgundy. High in a walnut tree, a squirrel checks every webworm tent for unfallen nuts.

Bracken ferns in the yard crowd together as if trying to hide from the sun. A cerulean warbler like a small power saw stuttering to life.

Thanks to the drought, the bracken patch in my yard is browning from the outside in. A wild sunflower beside the path bows toward the east.

Dead bracken leaf: a sun-bleached carcass. A feral cat pads down the road undetected by squirrels, its sodden gray coat the color of gravel.

Dark burgundy leaves on a dame’s-rocket, browning seedheads of dock, the one yellow bracken—autumn is making inroads despite the heat.

Overcast and humid. A bracken frond beside the road has turned yellow as a Yield sign. A raincrow calls over and over at the woods’ edge.