SUMMONING

Happy Earth Day.

 

One clear morning
after the airplane had passed
and the trucks on the road were gone,
I called them together.

The crows in a great black pack
answered right away,
hollering down from their business
in the treetops and the sky.

Red squirrels stopped
their endless scamper
and sat still
on the stumps and fenceposts.

Coyotes and bobcats emerged from their dens
in woodpiles or stone foundations
and sat alert, their soft ears
pricked toward my call.

Bears lumbered up from deep in the forest
and peered out from the undergrowth,
a hard glitter in their eyes.
Their suspicion was not surprising,

considering their customary solitude.
Have you heard?  I asked them.
It is happening.  
Of course they knew.

They had been waiting
for me to notice.
I was the one
who had forgotten.

They had been working for years.
And all the while, the trees
had persisted in their silent task:
light to leaf to ground.

The little brooks, too:
resolutely filling the valleys
with the broken mountains,
the bare plowed fields.

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