Then there was no more singing.
All the lights in their throats cut:
the protest of evening wolves & black
bears nuzzling a parched creek for any-
thing that might sustain them another
white-skinned winter, those foreign
birds we never learned the names for.
Invasive, my grandfather called them.
Like the silver carp haunting our
local river. Bullfrogs & possums.
He called us natives after living
three generations on the same
hard land it took so much blood
to own. At the end of the path
the bullet takes to meet the right
body, the right body drops like
nothing worth losing sleep over.
It’ll cost two men three hours
to drag it home in one piece.
That wilder silence lasts but
a brief eternity. Before the unseen
choir shakes the forest. Again,
the same damn wolves & starlings. Men
still dragging. The season closing.
Its wiry legs kick & quiver in our hands.
Like strings. Song. Our song now to sing.