Daybreak and not one sound is heard
as was routine of trilling jays
that were aflutter as they stirred
the air muggy with June heatwave.
They’d dart between two trees ablaze
with alpenglow—their choice playground
alongside two apartment blocks.
Their silent airs today astound.
Some social distancing to save
plumage against some newfound pox . . .
succumbed at last to this June’s sear . . .
or did they just migrate away?
Not one hour later, a whirr
amongst the trees! How they behave
as they’ve been wont, still no one’s prey.
How tardy! Have they now become
afflicted with our sleep-in malaise . . .
or wearied by the rival hum
and thump that made a schoolyard cave
in for a close-by condo maze?
A symphony of seesaw trills—
the usual morning reveille—
clear and rampant as it spills
forth now, before it’s time to brave
Caterpillars soon to wake and wail.
by Alexander Pepple
Editor’s Note: The form of this poem constructs a framework that denies the awful fragility of bird life (and perhaps our own as well), especially considering the new and terrible avian illness sweeping across the land.