TO THE PARTY

The birds move in and out as they please,
but some stay, like you and I, to watch
the arrival of guests bringing something

to the party. Even the town pigeons fidgeting
on the barn roof beneath a skyful of hawks
can bring humor and drama to a dirt farm—

to bare ground fenced and cross-fenced.
These are repetitious, pastel days of browns
and grays washed one upon the other

preparing for winter rains that never come—
like all the Mallards and Pintails waiting
somewhere north for a storm to follow.

Meanwhile, we visit with the Phoebes
feasting on a new hatch of gnats. The earth
seems to slip as the quail roll in from the hill.

Roadrunners snag the last of the butterflies
while hummingbirds and honey bees
get down to their buzzing business

upon fading purple plumes of Mexican Sage.
Some leave early and some leave late—
we just don’t know who’s coming next.

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