is filled with birds:
the plaintive call
of a mourning dove
and the distant response
from a wire unseen,
two crows on grass
that bob and caw as one,
and the single mockingbird
chants a single word.
The sky is stitched
with a tapestry of coos and chirps,
tweeps and caws –
threads of song
I step from under the shelter
of the central Modesto Ash tree,
out into the sprinkling mist.
A brown thrush perched on brick under the eaves
watches, twisted root fragment corkscrewing
from her beak, remnant of an orange tree
now forty years dead, but the song
of the warbler's ancestor
still vibrates in the zigzag hum of grain.
I nod at her, pace the perimeter of the yard,
one footfall for each paving stone,
the light drizzle cooling my skin,
then return to the dryness of the center,
the bench warped by seasons,
and sit in the silence, remembering.