Today’s selection is from Brooks Haxton’s book They Lift Their Wings to Cry, a title that refers to the vibrating wings of the snowy tree cricket, who is a kind of poet, scratching out a mysterious music. As Haxton tells us in the title poem, “This poem also / cries, and hushes as your mind draws near.”
Cattle egrets in the dry grass waded
like white clerics at the hooves
of brood cows, heifers, and new calves.
Forked lightning. Calm.
The darkness in the cattle tank welled up
and flooded the reflection of the trees.
Turkey vultures wheeled, and wheeled away.
No swifts, no swallows, children gone indoors.
Rain seethed into the willowtops,
sky flashing, while the black bull
under the water locust glowed
with an inward surge of darkness.
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