The Carolina Wren
By Laura Donnelly
I noticed the mockingbirds first,
not for their call but the broad white bands,
like reverse mourning bands on gunmetal
gray, exposed during flight
then tucked into their chests. A thing
seen once, then everywhere—
the top of the gazebo, the little cracked statue,
along the barbed fence. Noticed because
I know first with my eyes, then followed
their several songs braiding the trees.
Only later, this other, same-same-again song,
a bird I could not see but heard
when I walked from the house to the studio,
studio to the house, its three notes
repeated like a child’s up and down
on a trampoline looping
the ground to the sky—
When I remember being a child like this
I think I wouldn’t mind living alone
on a mountain, stilled into the daily
which isn’t stillness at all but a whirring
gone deep. The composer shows how
the hands, palms down, thumb to thumb
and forefinger to mirrored finger, make
a shape like a cone, a honeybee hive, and then
how that cone moves across the piano—
notes in groups fluttering fast back-and-forth
and it sounds difficult but it isn’t
really, how the hand likes to hover each patch
of sound. Likes gesture. To hold. Listening
is like this. How it took me a week to hear
the ever-there wren. And the bees
are like this, intent on their nectar,
their waggle dance better than any GPS.
A threatened thing. A no-one-knows-why.
But the wrens’ invisible looping their loop—
And I, for a moment, pinned to the ground.
Pinned and spinning in the sound of it.
The big success of my Tuesday involved reliving parts of my Monday -- not as much fun, since Cheryl wasn't here, but I went back to Torrid to exchange a shirt for a different size and found that they now had a skirt (on the bargain rack no less) that I really wanted to get on Monday but they didn't have in my size then. Plus I stopped in Target to return a shirt and discovered that all the leggings were half price! So apart from really needing a new winter coat, my seasonal clothes shopping is done. And Jurassic World somehow accidentally jumped into my shopping cart.
Otherwise my day was all work and chores, not much worth reporting except that the bunnies are definitely around, just coming out closer to dusk for the fall. We had awesome lemon unchicken for dinner, then we watched The Flash (which was entertaining), Agents of SHIELD (which I can barely stay awake through this season, too many characters I just don't care about, send Simmons through the portal if you're just going to treat her as a prize for Fitz), and Limitless (still finding its legs, decent script this week, needs more Mastrantonio). Some photos from Seattle's Golden Gardens Park: