by Susanna Lang

And if I do call the right name, if woodpecker
is the name I’m searching for,

then is the rapid drumbeat I hear
down by the river

an answer to my call?  Who does the cardinal

with that sweet falling note
sung over and over?

I should be able to find a cardinal among these bare

but even those flames are hidden.  And the sparrows,

all but their bright voices.  Sometimes a branch
will dip and rise,

as if a weight has settled for a moment.  Sometimes
I can almost

see a wing out of the corner of my eye, too quickly gone
to say what color, much less a name.