The Songbird's Refrain



The dying canopy of the sky

envelopes the blue hills

that sit smoky on the horizon

my father's horses scamper and kick

across fields of yellow straw

we are long past harvest

new wheat is but a dream to come

I take a sip of cold water hear

pheasants skitter through grasses

I do not hunt them anymore

their beauty cannot contain

buckshot or violence

or spatters of blood


Somewhere I have buried

my grandmother's Bible in a box

its pages well thumbed well read

well told and retold

its story of resurrection

feeding the seeds

buried deep in the earth

each season they rise in hope

each season they transubstantiate

the fruits of the Spirit which we

devour like the dead


The soil is no convert

but what works its way

unseen to the surface

inspires the songbird

its melodic refrain

fills the empty sky

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