The narrow roads in my town
are lined with little farms
built by lean, industrious men and women
who now, on hills set aside just for them,
barely manage to hold their headstones straight.
Inside the sturdy houses they left behind
people sit in flickering blue rooms
while outside the windows
at the edges of overgrown fields
reach out for relief from their bounty and plead
for a mow, a prune, a harvest.
and here is my prayer:
May the same force
that turns the Robin’s ear
to the gritty rumblings of earthworms
turn my ear, too.
Send me a rustle
as true as any sacred writ in my hands
no, truer for lack of creed.
I wish only to sing in the same key
which of course is all keys
In return I leave my offering:
a brittle, worn book
left long in the tall grass
the margin notes bleached and fading
the leaves tearing and blowing away
Diana Decker writes, sings, and counts the birds on her little farm in New York.