The pianissimo roll begins, leaves rustling
in the stillness of a late, lazy afternoon, builds
until ferns and firs, oaks and locusts hum.
A breeze crescendos, then fades
into a drone, creates an undertone
for a bee buzzing overhead, the shrill caw
of a crow atop a hickory--
earth tuning up for evensong.
Now a fly sweeps by to add a grace note,
a lone bullfrog croaks. I would swear
a light rain is falling, but extend hand beyond eave
and prove myself wrong.
In all my years I have never
known such pleasure, save one morning,
when a redbird’s wing
brushed my cheek as she took flight.
Honorable Mention, Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize.