You have to wonder what thoughts
come to the Fraser Delta’s birds,
while they watch the sprouting days
fruit and rot around them
like damp, brown, delicate morels.
What is the mood of the hawk
as it looks and hardly blinks
at the eighteen wheeler cumulonimbus
rumbling past its chosen post?
Eagles blot the high places
with signs of blood, omens,
a memory of sacrifice.
They are three to a tree there,
twenty to a skeleton grove:
thrones, dominions, and principalities left
in rags at the edge of the road.
Herons, not quite lucid, come and go
among the riddles of last year’s corn,
solving puddles in between the rows,
mad as Hamlet, making stabs in the dark
through a curtain, hoping to skewer the truth.
In the next field over from these views,
lines of red-branched berries draw attention to the sky.
It is stone. It is gray. It is a monastery floor,
a solitude, soaped and scoured clean.