It is quiet out there now. She
Takes her hat, stick and forage bag,
Into which she slips her pruners, then
Slides her feet into green clogs, feeling
Quite exurban-agrarian, ready to look
Under brush piles and into cottonwoods --
In every place that might consent to harbor
Even a hint of birds' music. They have flown,
The silence tells her; those that haven't died.
Out along the roadside she waves to cars,
Understanding her neighbors have to drive,
Then pockets up her apples, rose hips, leaves
That now are turning away from green: cat's ear,
High mallow, chicory, plantain, sow thistle, her
Ears pricked for passing flights of geese.
Really, thinks she to herself, there ought
Even now to be more birds. There are
Not so many feral cats round here as that.
Or could it be the sprays? She supposes
War has been declared. A war on song.