Oh, the sun is burning up the sky
turning it white under smoke heavy air.
Crackling tree bark keens but no one listens.
It’s just another “burn.”
I am a woman who listens.
Twilight lays down her starry blanket.
A half moon floats through the sky.
Desert air turns cool.
The Canyon towhee and white crowned sparrow
Converse, quenching thirst at a shallow well.
I am a woman who listens
dive and climb, wildly whirring wings
speak to a multitude of avian presences.
Fierce and vulnerable in the extreme,
humming and buzzing they call my name.
I am a woman who listens…
A long guttural trill breaks the silence.
He sounds like a tree frog!
Is he singing a song for his lady,
under sun warmed stones?
A desert oasis is a holy place,
for a woman who listens.
Yesterday, the sun was fierce and the air thick with smoke that didn’t clear until twilight. I ached for burning trees. It was so hot that I went for a dip in the river. And then after dark I heard him singing from the little pond. I don’t know what kind of frog sounds that long guttural trill but just knowing that he was out there singing allowed me to sleep.