by John L. Stanizzi

We know where we're going; we know where we're from
We're leaving Babylon, we're going to the fatherland
Bob Marley

The leaves begin to flag, wearied by summer,
their green silks wilting; their will to hang on ‘til
the Joe Pye Weed has passed has withered too.

The air is full of hummingbirds, ticking and thrumming,
vibrating wards of anything remotely red,
which the entire landscape will be soon enough,

and goldfinches disappear within the primrose,
the perfect camouflage before they burst,
per-chik-a-ree, a handful of tossed yellow,

and way out in the distance the Juncos surge
past the millions of red-winged blackbirds, grackles,
cowbirds, and starlings; they are powering south,

but the Juncos follow the snow, as here the landscape,
with all its tiny life that stays behind,
readies its gray rags to hunker down.

From the back deck I watch the exodus,
as a heavy eastern wind parts the warmth,
walls of waning color on either side,

the cold coming in, a frigid white horse.

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