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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Roger D. Jones

A Chuck-Will’s Widow

Closer and closer the repetitive call comes from out of the woods.

I go to the open front door. The bird's perched on a fence post at yard’s edge, about thirty feet away. The books say they tend to nest on the ground, alone, among the leaves.

I’ve never seen one before, only heard its rhythmic tones in the night. In dusk light, it's hard to make out clearly – a larger bird than I imagined. Like an owl.

I watch it a minute or two – two recluses studying one another. A moment later, it flies off.

summer solstice
unfamiliar footprints
along an old dirt trail