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July 2018, vol 14 no 2

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Mary Frederick Ahearn


"I want to sleep the dream of the apples..."
                    ~ Federico Garcia Lorca

picking out the stone
of gray Vermont granite
choosing the image –
two birds
on a flowering bough

It's the season, maybe, or this new kind of loneliness, but since you're gone, I'm growing fey and feral. Always one to watch the wild birds, listen to their songs and calls, now I yearn to be one of them, to be among them. Their freedom of flight, the grace and benediction of their landing on spring lawns and trees fills me with longing. The blackbird settles on the sumac sapling briefly, then enters the shade of the newly leafed out redbud tree, so easily finding the green lanes invisible, lost to us humans. Within minutes he leaves the sanctuary of branches to fly across the marsh to the waiting willow. He calls out in a language I don't know.

This is what feels real to me now. I want to join the winged ones, become part of the tree, hide in the tall spring grasses, the sky, the ponds. Since you've left, I try to think of you as a part of all this. I search the clouds for you, wondering at the spaces between them if that leads to you. Up there? Over there? In the new leaves, the robin's eggs? The field flowers some call weeds? People and the usual ways of society, of communicating, are strange now, sometimes bewildering, foreign. Only in the green world is there an ease, a release. There is where I find you. Where I'll come someday.

one day
soon as may
I'll understand
all the words
to the birds' songs

Note: Epigraph from Federico Garcia Lorca, "Gacela of the Dark Death," (Translated by Stephen Spender and J.L.Gili)