When Days Grow Shorter
One hundred six miles north
someone turns off the telephone,
travels the short walk to the deck,
examines this world again
with new eyes, exquisite words.

One hour, forty-six minutes south,
someone else sequesters themselves
on the screened-in porch
pencil and yellow pad in hand,
translates bird-talk into human language.

Today is about dark coffee beans, a cup of tea
red tinge on the edge of maple leaves,
how tall oaks swirl yellow upon roadways
and paper-bark birch exfoliate
white skin upon sacred ground.

This day is caw and coo-oo,
crows and mourning doves,
the ch-ch-chick of mocking birds.
Swallows and swifts collect themselves,
light slants, turns buttery.

It doesn’t matter how or where the roads go.
Everywhere we watch, listen,
Prepare harvest soup and stew,
praise burgundy and orange afternoons.