Waking one morning in late November,
lured by the crimson in the elms,
I watch a busied thrush push his wings
through the autumn leaves.
He hurries from branch to branch,
then finally settles, though uneasy,
wide-eyed, as it begins to rain.
In their sudden bareness,
I expect the elm’s limbs
will bend under the weight of snow
after a quiet autumn,
as they did in the grip
of the wood thrush.
At the first sign of winter,
I will greet the snow that falls mutely
beyond the fogged windows
of the small kitchen,
remembering how we danced
across marbled tiles in the watchful eye
of the cold winter sun.
the red elms in the yard,
and the cluster of berries on the Toyon bush,
shiver in the dawn.
Leaves fall from the alders in wind.
I’ve grown older. And when I look again
for the small wood thrush, he is gone,
somehow, without me noticing.