The birds kept chirping
which was weird because there were no trees for miles
and I kept looking overhead to catch them flying by
but I didn’t see a single one.
The rocky shore wore a skirt
of ice as sheer as film that looked
as if Mother Nature had wrapped up
the Fall leftovers until she could
warm them up later.
I thought maybe the birds were fretting
over the temporary closure of their
favorite fishing hole.
Daydreams of feeling as solid as rock
flickered across the surface in
shades of brown and blue and gray
and when I made a frame around my eyes and looked
I smiled because I thought of course Mother Nature
would be an abstract artist.
I had a moment of thinking maybe the birds
were just lively connoisseurs or at the very least
appreciated the different view.
I knelt to look closer at the leaves
that looked like they’d hesitated just a moment
too long and didn’t quite make it in to the
little world of flowing water and swimming fish
that kept on living in the spaces that didn’t freeze.
I felt certain the birds were chatting
out a plan to break through the ice
and get to those fish.
And then it hit me as the chirping
fell in time with the tiny surges of water
that hit against the rocks as the waves rolled in
from the deeper water like a mantra
repeated, repeated, repeated
listen to me, listen to me, listen to me.
This is the life you hear.
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