Rae Spencer

The squirrel buries his bounty
Among roots, in his sanctuary

While the sand crane performs 
His awkward mating display
A fertility dance
Of feather and fealty and flesh

Herring cluster into a crescendo
Of helpless supplication
Legions survive and legions more die
In the tight whirl of winter’s massacres

And masses on summer evenings
Gather the insect and the toad
To raise raucous hymns, as a choir
In praise of what they seek

Inscrutable, like the humpback
Head down over fathomless echoes

While owl and hyena
Lion and osprey and wolf
Sing of the moon, of lands they have claimed
And the bright rush of blood in their prey

Housecats tithe a tenth of their kills
Grisly offerings on the mat
To secure a warm nap by the fire
Or an easy caress when the wildness has ebbed

Eave-hidden spiders spin proverbs
In their unvarying patterns of web

While moths court on eager wing
The flame, which is death
Or the will-o-wisp light by the door
Which grants nothing in return

Trees cast off their leaves
In abject surrender to season
And the fade of verdant foliage
Feeds the frantic rush of spring

As fertile as any myth
A warm flush of bronze on each horizon
And the drone of new generations
Performing such rites as they must

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