A light breeze, the cottonwood branches
bristle and groan. This is the first gesture
of the day. When I open a book,
a yellow leaf with seven points appears.
A vine maple, bright yellow, and it means nothing
deeper than that. It’s May,
and everything joyous is bathed
in green or absolved with gray.
Dark clouds gather and deepen;
torrents every night.
By day, the aria of dandelion
and buttercup. There’s a scraping
at the wall, like branch tips
or tiny claws. The sound is
out of sync with itself,
and, as it turns out,
is only a sparrow on the sill
scratching like a hen. For hours,
the gray Appaloosa
in the roadside paddock
has stood beside the fence
and stared at the neighbor’s house.
No one is home. The curtains drawn. A chorus
of thrushes whistles upward.
But there is no preparation
for the fallen one. No one will notice
the thrush beside the road. This is a deletion
Anita K. Boyle is a poet and artist living in Northwest Washington. Her poems have been published in anthologies like Take a Stand, Art Against Hate (Raven Chronicles, 2020; For the Love of Orcas (Wandering Aengus Press, 2019) and Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry (World Enough Writers, 2018), and literary magazines such as The Raven Chronicles, StringTown, Crab Creek Review and more. Her books “Bamboo Equals Loon” (Egress Studio Press, 2001) and “What the Alder Told Me” (MoonPath Press, 2011) will soon be joined with “Why Horses” (MoonPath Press, 2020).