Last Week in September
. . . Woke up remembering a solitary bird—a thrush, I think—its wing caught somehow in the screen door grillwork.
As I carefully pulled it free it attacked me furiously, twisting and pecking before flying off in a huff.
Well! I never—
It’s as if—this was my impression—the little guy was actually angry at being given its freedom: having settled in to the idea of death, anything less seemed insupportable.
A few hundred feet off the deck the bird was joined by three or four others.
They flew higher: a caravansary of death-wishes bumping into clouds pregnant with rain.
(Just like that—groans of thunder giving birth to the ghost of Yeats. . . I call it death-in-life and life-in-death.)
Later that day, after re-reading a chapter of Walden I take the obligatory walk in the woods.
—There, backlit by leaves floating on russet light, like a Parkinson’s sufferer one solitary leaf—one!—trembles in the breeze. (I think of the thrush in love with easeful death.)
I don’t understand how one leaf can move, while the others—some less than an inch away—don’t budge.
—Pick a mystery, any mystery . . .
Sounds of green