The Old Ones.
The Old Ones
In winter they hung in honey locust
hidden among wrinkled pods, until
spring opened their knuckles
and they bee-lined to a sprouting cornfield
where the slightest breeze set
their ardent bird hearts humming.
On humid afternoons grown heavy
on tall stalks, they watched
for a child who walked near, kicking
loose gravel. They lured me inside
with a lost kitten's cry. Further and further
I wandered through leaves with rasp
turned sweet as the cricket-chirping
of bows and in a veil of dust
I saw them, through blue dragonflies.
When I left the dark field, rows
closed behind me in a rush. I walked
uphill toward a room where soup
had grown cold. Since then, I have wondered
if the flicker of lanterns was a dream
by the curve of the brook. But I heard
their killdeer cries the day the fencerow
was cleared and corn pushed under cul-de-sacs
named for what was never here.