red-eyed vireo

A wren calls from the cattails like a deranged cheerleader, while in the woods, a vireo sounds as if it’s barely able to give a damn.

When the neighbors’ rooster finally stops crowing, the incessant singing of the red-eyed vireo seems as hushed as the murmur of a stream.

The crackle of a grackle. The boosterism of a rooster. The incessant cheer of a vireo. My ears take refuge in the creek, that labile Babel.

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.

Still cool at sunrise. A large beetle zooms past. Faint noise from the highway. The desultory calls of a red-eyed vireo.

Red-eyed vireo, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting: the primary colors of this morning’s diminished chorus. The dog twitches in her sleep.

Fragments of vireo and goldfinch song mingle with the rain’s thunderous applause. A few filmy-winged insects still somehow manage to fly.