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To a Prairie Warbler

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Little scrap of life
What a difference you make
in this landscape of briar and thorn


your song
a bony finger sliding up the frets
of a silver dulcimer.

You are not afraid of me
or this great black barrel
slicing off image after image.

You have singing to do
and in between you'll look
for curled coin of caterpillar
in the folded leaf.

Find a mate. She'll weave a little cup of plaits
Stripped from last year's goldenrod
the color of cedar on the Cape.


If she sees me watching she'll drop the fluff
and pretend she wasn't fashioning a cradle
No, just tidying up the old stems of winter.


I am glad you're here, and glad it's April.
Prairie warbler, sprinkling song
How did I do without you?

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