stream

The stream’s dark thread. A jay pierces it with his bill three times. The scarlet oak I planted so long ago is flying all its red flags.

The barberry beside the stream is turning from the inside out: under a green cloak, salmon pink, blood-red beads, the hurdy-gurdy of a wren.

A silver-spotted skipper flies back and forth in front of the porch a dozen times. A grackle comes in croaking for a drink from the creek.

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.

Two crows fly past, staying just inside the woods’ edge. Over the several voices of the creek, a cerulean warbler’s ascending, buzzy trill.

My ears are still adjusting to the lack of urban noise. Crow, chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker. The stream’s slow gurgle under the yard.

The wild black currants are succumbing to their usual wilt—an extra shadow eating them from the inside as the stream gurgles between them.