Something the Winter Wren Didn’t Say

by Jeff Gundy


Dusk in the Kendall Ledges. Any place to sit will do
because I aim to disobey, to disappear, to wait and listen

till the hard earth shudders open like a touch-me-not.
Rocks like spilled treasure waiting for the dragon,

like junker cars rolled downhill toward the crusher,
like science waiting for fiction. Whose idea was it anyway,

to wait so long, to let all this accumulate? The tanager
and the winter wren both want to sleep, but neither is willing

to give up the last word. I’m more like the rocks—I’ve slept
for centuries. But I remember now: after a hundred

good nights our lover the moon got bored and nudged
this corner down, roughed things up to mark her place

just in case, and went away. We made many low songs
almost as sweet as the wren’s and the tanager’s, desperate

to lure her back, but we see her roaming through the wild sky
and know she’s seeing that bully sun, letting him drive

his hot car a million miles an hour with no seat belt,
parking in a black hole and spreading wide, riding him

till she glows so white and wet the world cracks and bellows,
till the rain pours down to turn our rage to tears.

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