Earthrise, December 1968, Image by Apollo 8

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Business of High Spring

Athens, Georgia
May 3, 2018

The soulful notes of a wood thrush cease 
when coded warnings cut the air.

A hawk swoops through the understory
culling anoles and unwary mice.

Chipmunks skitter for hidden dens. 
A buzzard wheels overhead.

Shadows and silence … 
The bustle resumes. 

Beauty is a privileged vision 
in a world hard about business –

Where nervous squirrels vie for the rights 
to your bird feeder 

and goldfinches fight for the bottomless bag 
of thistle seed.

Where biting flies rise from brush 
and chiggers infest the meadows. 

They covet your blood 
for you, too, are a creature of spring. 

You are the doe and deer tick, 
the moth and the evening swallow.

You are the red-shouldered hawk 
and the unfortunate field mouse too slow to his hole.

You are the quickest chipmunk, 
the top finch on a thistle bag,

the orphaned fawn, the crippled wren,
bones and feathers pecking the dirt.

You’re the squirrel chased back to her perch 
chattering oaths and scratching fleas. 

You are the starboard hind flank flea 
and the chigger that missed her mark.

Spring is open air improv ballet. 
Its beauty is hard business.