How Wood Thrush by Laura Foley

How Wood Thrush

—for Ad Shaw 1931-2021

How a single wren still warbles on a topmost branch
of a swaying poplar tree

how dandelions still appear
like scattered suns across a grassy field

how the unknowing field rests, unmown,
and will remain long enough to host the nesting bobolink

how the steward of this land for many seasons
of late haying, leaf fall, ice and deep snow

how a dragonfly sips nectar from a flower,
pauses on my knee as if to speak

how my focus shifts to his old window
in the vale, just beyond the reedy pond—

how wood thrushes just returned
sing their liquid notes in hemlock woods’

cool shade, but return to silence
when the sun emerges from a cloud

how the day still breaks
into spring’s first heat

by Laura Foley

Editor’s Note: This elegy uses lovely, clear imagery as remembrance of a loved one, and it is this juxtaposition of life’s vibrancy to loss that sharply underscores the grief.