The sun has only just
Sunken below the ridge
When the little screech owl
(poorly named as it doesn’t screech at all)
Begins its falsetto trill
Announcing that the sun is gone;
The night games can begin.
He’s upstream-due west
Perhaps in the big sycamore.
No bigger than my fist, invisible in the gloaming
That’s fine-I don’t need to see him to
Know what he’s saying.
The evening rooster trilling the eagle home
From the hunt.
Calling the tree frogs out to sing.
The snakes have gone to ground.
Raccoons and possums shake off the days’ slumber.
Finches and towhees give way to swallows dipping and diving
After mayflies and skeeters.
Then the bats join the dance-flickering blindly in
Four directions at once.
Bull frogs thump, thump in the weeds while
Big bass-hearing and hunting-patrol the shallows under dusk’s cover.
Coyotes yip and bobcats cough and deer are free to
Roam the fields.
Venus has just risen in the pearl gray sky when
An otter snags a catfish and curls on a rock to feast.
The trilling says it’s our time now.
Stars awaken and the
We’ll fill your dreams, it says, with the music of the ages.
© TDR 2019