Winter Coming Home
by Victoria Slotto
Our droughted land thirsts.
Dry timber, broken branches,
creviced earth wait in silence.
Migratory birds pass through,
shelter in the branches of an evergreen,
huddle together in thickets of bramble-
berries. Stretch their necks and sing
farewell, then leave us behind, wanting
more of their lilting joy.
Yesterday, a short-lived intrusion
of warblers surprised us with a brand-
new song, stayed for a while then took
flight. This morning I keep watch.
Hesitantly, gray skies yield sparse
flakes here and there until
at last, earth opens her yearning maw,
welcomes her winter lover,
soaks in bliss.