I Stop and Listen to a Winter Wren
Perhaps jealous of the sound—a rivulet trickling
down to wash stones and fallen branches—
the winter wren sings its spring digs,
a tangled rising-and-falling in the brush.
Surely the trill must soon cease its winding
progress through the trees—surely this small
brown creature cannot go on so,
drowning out the stream? It must be all lungs.
It does end, of course, and the unconscious
duet of water and earth emerges in the ensuing
quiet, seeming to pick up where the bird trails off,
dipping up and down over moss and twig.
The wren again inhales damp May air;
it cannot sing forever, though it will die trying.