She releases the earth,
every dawn, opens
like day and closes like night.
The human highway
is nothing to her,
blunt in its purpose,

coursing to no destination
she calls home. The squirrel’s
chatter, the flycatcher’s shrill
empty gossip beneath her shadow,
no rumor scores her quiet.

                        All night
she wakes and wakes again,
nothing to tell, no story
to sound, the broken syllables of the lake,
the susurration of the river her

names for hunger.
He talons seize the steelhead
and grasp the trout,
but in a kingdom of pinprick
birdsong she is the tidings,
now and now, echoing nothing,prey to no rumor, silence her anthem.



Michael Cadnum has published nearly forty books. His new collection of poems, The Promised Rain, is in private circulation. He lives in Albany, California.

Also by this author
© 2024 Commonweal Magazine. All rights reserved. Design by Point Five. Site by Deck Fifty.