Common Gray

By mid-June the last trillium
displays a Lenten vigor.
Her triplet of white petals
die out to starved purple
but her energy is set in seeds.

Gray phoebe shares her usual
nesting site with us, her nest
wedged into a corner of the eave
of her shared summer cabin.
Her young are a growing pile
of brown energy fledging
her mother’s common gray.

This morning their hunger
was expressed in angry peeps,
petulant travesty of birdsong,
and we wakened to their need
an hour before dawn. We learn
to listen to our fellow residents’
children in our common hunger.

Without our futile guidance
of a withered spring metaphor
they live almost on their own
and by tomorrow perhaps
they will have flown – with
luck and courage to survive
our perilous common air.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom is the writer of six books, including Eumaeus Tends, and Selenity Book Four. His new book Sorgmantel, follows a view of Lucretius, but employs time, the predicate of physics, into a search for what can be imagined out of the possible and impossible. It can be read, perhaps, as an elegy for generations whose existence humankind is threatening, including humankind. Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.