Marge Piercy

 

 

 

          IN LATE AFTERNOON
 

The male cardinal is singing and singing

each phrase like a raised eyebrow,

a rain of sideways parentheses.

 

After parched days of sandpaper heat

a hesitant rain is teasing the maple

leaves, brushing the air clean at last.

 

Now it gathers confidence, tiptapping

the roof.  All the birds stir up now

noisy and high pitched as a gaggle

 

of girls pouring out of a car

at a mall.  Every despairing leaf

uncurls. The dust drinks it up.

 

Every living thing opens to the rain.

Every one of us eater and eaten

pause for a chorus of wet joy.

Copyright 2003 Marge Piercy.  All Rights Reserved.

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