in winter always takes me
quite by surprise.
Not so much the noisy prattle, although wonderful,
of migratory northern geese pushing southward,
but the small throated songbirds that stay
for abbreviated cold winter days.
Trillers in lyrical bel canto
compelling me, quite in the middle of anything,
out my front door to listen.
Shivering from bare limbs,
swaying and fluttering in bleak wind when gray
can be wrung from everything—
Long after earth has gone underground for
her Sabbath rest,
a polyphonic coloratura sings,
ecstatic light emitting from delicate vocal chords.
These little warblers in joy-filled descant,
sing in psalms and praises to no one
in particular listening—