Three Lives at the Thorn Preserve

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.