by Judith Skillman
Allegro corresponds to dusk, trumpets
of yellow skunk cabbage unfurled, the swamp
behind a life lived more than halfway through.
Children seen to, grow up. Fruition—its
goitered neck. Largo threatens nostalgia
despite chirrup—cheer up—talk sung in bits
by birds whose young fend when they learn to fly.
Andante walks, blues deepen, the heart’s limp
hardly noticeable through forested
depths of branches. Evening, like age, declines.
Ribbit ribbit, choir of bass against train
whistle. How long will the frogs deign to play?
Toad throats gurgling, all close-mouthed, hoisted
to night airs: the day’s morsels digested.