The yard is quieter this morning,
as we sit on the porch eating eggs,
the little brown dogs and me.
Only the we-witchity of the yellowthroat
sporting a bandit’s mask
from the brushy riverbank.
And the red-eyed vireo chanting
something I refuse to call a song,
more a punctuated summer soundtrack.
Song sparrows wearing one large freckle
begin to sing, then give it up.
There are more mouths to feed.
What is missing from this
mid-July morning is wren.
Rasping antics of wren on the clothesline.
Wren on the railing, wren on the rusted yard art.
Wren everywhere in my dreams,
singing like a smoker.
I had words with him yesterday.
Be careful of the cars.
Don’t swoop so low.
Wrens never listen.
Brave, headstrong wrens.
He lay this morning in the south-bound lane.
His brown striped tail up.
His thin, insect stabbing beak broken.
One drop of blood.