for something, the endless roll of the earth
Even on the most tranquil
late August afternoon when heavy heads
of phlox bow in the garden
and the hummingbird sits still for a moment
on a branch of an apple tree—
even on such a day,
evening approaches sooner
than yesterday, and we cannot help
noticing whole families of birds
arrive together in the enclosure,
young blue birds molted a misty grey,
colored through no will of their own
for a journey.
On such an evening
I ache for what I cannot keep—the birds,
the phlox, the late-flying bees—
though I would not forbid the frost,
even if I could. There will be more to love
and lose in what's to come and this too: desire
to see it clear before it's gone.
Thanks to subscriber Claire Willis for suggesting this poem.
Art credit: "Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) Flock at the Water Tanks," photograph by Arlene Ripley © 2010 (originally color).