A Sign Before Autumn
by Donna M. Davis

Our lawn is empty of robins,
who only yesterday
had starred in fledgling flights
from nests to telephone wires
in an operetta of frantic trills.
They left us in an instant,
no flurry of wings glimpsed
departing for deep forests
or southern latitudes.

I fear their sudden absence,
as I have feared the winter
all summer long,
dreaded its return —
a rogue mezzo soprano,
who rolls up fields
like a blanket of straw
and entombs the sun
in a noteless cave.

Behind the house,
the trees are a vivid green
with insects still buzzing
over bee balm and yarrow.
But a solitary maple has flamed
into crimson leaf-fingers
applauding the cloudless sky;
an early metamorphosis,
and not a robin to be seen.
The world might end like this,
with just a single sign,
without a last rehearsal.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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