I opened my bluebird house to clear it,
get it ready for the next year’s brood.
What I saw instead…
Instead of ants, sticks, guano –
Two perfect little feathery bodies lay still, eyes hollowed, dead.
I remember last spring a strange cold snap
Two worried bluebirds peeked into their home’s hole,
precious products too big for them to enter,
with wiggly grasshoppers held to little mouths.
Cold went on many days, rain, fog, frosty mornings
We had fires at night, remarked at the chill.
As the amber glistened in our wine glass
Two creatures struggled helpless in the dark.
Little feathered bodies fell from the grim box
And I left them, food for someone else’s struggle
Against the changing of the light, the air, the sea.
Against the maelstrom let loose on land.
Shuddering, I looked aloft, the ominous empty sky
Yesterday jackrabbit hopped to the trough, a drink.
His mate hit last week, destroyed. He stood at the roadside,
next year’s leverets, a wistful, fruitless dream.
Our California oaks, like giants toppled
Mutilated and haunting on their rocky crags.
Each creature bent, lonely in its paradigm
Toward the solitude of its own Silent Spring.