Today's poem is by Lisa Olstein

Was to Have Been Called Whip-poor-will

Dog hears it
Wind flattens grasses.
The hero is tall.
The heroine is seated
They gaze in different directions.
Behind them, the trees
in phalanx formation
creeping up on one another
in the dark. They're here
for the last of the sunlight,
angled, lit from below.
In his ears, war, the last
things he heard: fire and cries,
people like matchsticks,
fuel for bonfires, loud
growing muffled as if
under a blanket of snow.
In her eyes, a father,
a forest, a girlhood girded
by snow. In the bay,
periscopes like birds necks,
like cormorants searching
the shore. Dog hears it.
It will be there out of sight.
In the trees creeping
through the oil-slick dark.
Dog hears it, whip-poor-will,
hears hill, hill, and then the sea,
and then the sea.

Copyright © 2009 Lisa Olstein All rights reserved
from Fourteen Hills
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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