Those days when the sun remembers its job
warms the seething earth and calls for budding.
Those days when a still soul can catch the groan
of yielding soil, a blade of grass slipping from its sheath.
The trees are busy knitting their next ring
silently expanding into the rainy evening.
The birds can hear this, the awaking around them
and then they find a song that says ‘grow’.
Of course they are calling to each other
announcing their own new growth
with stem-woven nests, delicate shells
holding tiny miracles who will themselves
perform miracles. Call us to see, to witness
call us to listen to this awakening.
Wild Turkey Crossing Randolph
Turkeys in the metro crossing busy streets,
ducking yapping dogs and their owners.
That there can be iridescence in dull brown bodies
seems a miracle as the rooster hurries
his harem to safety in the side yard
between brick apartment buildings
where the are plenty of leaves to
sift for wood lice. Still the male stands
in full display, shielding the hens
as they eat, between them and whatever
may pass on the sidewalk. Why are
they here? Why do they come to live
among us—careless and mostly accidental
predators. Will we learn their stolid patience
as we wait in our cars, allowing ourselves
a little wonder as they saunter back
across to the cover of the hedgerow
they so recently abandoned, to hide
their dull glory among the overgrown
arborvitae, behind the flat sprays
of scaly ornamental leaves.
In the bending grasses stir
little wildness, breeding population
observe the raptor strategy
magnificent thermal dive
engagement of crystalline vision
following the tract, astonishing
establishment of discrete flesh
and bones marked for close study.
Millenia without political boundaries
without knowledge of biodiversity
or even (consciously) their reptilian
beginnings. Conservancy endemic
to the breed, not unique among
the 10,000, among the tails
blunt and pointed, thick and swallow.
Only ubiquitous is the egg
the beginning like the mouth
of the Mississippi magnificent
tough seeds crack to an entire body
beak, wing, eye, claw
any arrangement of feathers.
Late come the passerine–
songbird. Invariably preening
flank and breast an intake of
melody. Migratory avifauna
curiosity identified by ear.
Motion draws the hawk,
the osprey, the kestrel–
movement from above
observant and keen.
Shape remains a constant
through season, sex and age.
Birds flying at twilight
unfortunate, presumed extinct.
Last Hunt with My Father
The sun setting
every hair in white
surrounded by shadows
but the road is made of
strands of light.
He walks with the gun
broken over his arm
like an ermine stole
nothing like Henry the VIII.
We have a rhythm, grass crushing,
anything outside registers
my eyes follow the trajectory
of my dad’s gaze and extend it
to the rotten trunk
where the male has just
mounted, ready to drum,
the thrum just starting
a heartbeat gone viral
until it stirs our guts like
heavy bass. Even though
it will mean we’re skunked
my dad will not fire the rooster
as he calls out for love
from the tender heart
Sandra Evans lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has an MFA in Poetry from Hamline University where she has taught First Year Writing as well as served as assistant Poetry Editor of Water~Stone Review. Her work has appeared on What light? the online poetry forum of MNArtists, in Rock, paper, scissors, Axe Factory, Talking Stick and upcoming in Hanging Loose. She was a 2013-14 recipient of a Loft Mentor Series and has worked with the Minnesota Prison Writers Workshop.