Malheur Before Dawn
An owl sound wandered along the road with me. I didn’t hear it—I breathed it into my ears.
Little ones at first, the stars retired, leaving polished little circles on the sky for a while.
Then the sun began to shout from below the horizon. Throngs of birds campaigned, their music a tent of sound.
From across a pond, out of the mist, one drake made a V and said its name.
Some vast animal of sound began to rouse from the reeds and lean outward.
Frogs discovered their national anthem again. I didn’t know a ditch could hold so much joy.
So magic a time it was that I was both brave and afraid. Some day like this might save the world.
(c) William Stafford
FYI: Malheur is a National Park in Oregon.