A wood thrush sings mellow evening prayers
in the darkening hollow that leads from my house
to the little creek we call Bucket Run.
It is almost dark on the run, and yet
higher up on the ridge the last rays of day
still light the tips of spring-green leaves,
and the cardinal calls his bright cheer-cheer-cheer.
A towhee rustles dry leaves I have yet to rake
from beneath red-gold spirea bushes,
and deep in the woods a pileated woodpecker
drums against a hollow oak.
I watch the moon creep over the horizon,
white-gold against tree silhouettes.
Inch by inch she rises, her gold turning silver
by some secret alchemy or is it just
another trick nature plays on my eyes?
Dusk settles on the garden where the sprinkler
still hisses, sending life to thirsty roots.
The chickens cluck quietly as they settle on their roost,
jostling each other for the choicest space.
One more day with its drama of the dead mouse
left at the door, the crows stealing the dogs’ food,
and minor altercations at the bird feeder
is coming to a close.
Somewhere, people sit in dark theaters to watch
Hollywood dramas or maybe see a play.
Restaurants fill with voices, clinking glassware and rattling silver
while in some performance hall a crowd listens
to an old-time band playing Mockingbird.
Here, only the whippoorwill
provides the evening concert
where we have the front-row seats.