Crickets stopped scratching their names
in last evening’s dark husk,
the false summer over as half of the earth
lurched sudden and blind into winter.
Then terrible noises all night.
Foxes, for certain, fierce hunger
on slight slender feet, but also
the singular cries of their prey
as the hinge between seasons gave way,
unshuttered the broken,
bright, cold of this day.
Still, those terrible sounds in the night.
Some I heard; most were too far away.
No switch to turn off what’s caught in the ear,
in the wind, no naming this dread,
just the gift of more light to see what’s so cold.
Even the comforting slap of my black rubber boots
snapping back on my calves
seems a clock counting down, as I walk
to the still-flowing creek, that may well be
poisoned, or maybe not poisoned, or maybe,
this morning, not yet.