By the stream, a mindless bird,
a drab but red-eyed vireo,
spends his days warbling
ornate, candid messages.
He broadcasts them into the wood,
no thought of being understood.
A brittle, juicy Tussock moth —
a meal stuck to a milkweed leaf —
has no mouth for eating, singing,
anything that mouths can do.
He clicks tymbals for his kind
but once he finds a late porch light
is tethered to it like a kite.
A shrinking pond becomes a bowl
of oak leaves, stick nests, powdered wings.
Stagnant water cannot know
each fallen thing brings emptiness,
but a runner passing by
sees hope in the amoebic mud
of coming rain’s life-giving flood.