By Nancy Schmalz
Layered leaves and curling tendrils
of purple clematis embrace the trellis
with a solid wall of foliage,
quiet as an empty church.
Invisible within its dense refuge
are clusters of small birds,
birds who could fill a dawn
with song, or a feeder with their fluttering.
Another approaches; the hidden birds,
like passengers on a crowded elevator,
make room for the new arrival
and it, too, blends into the stillness.
Then, with a murmur of collective exhalation
the whole crowd vacates its haven,
leaving only a few dusty feathers
to fall through the silence.
Nancy Schmalz is a musician, gardener, teacher and knitter living in a historic home in Mineral Point with her husband, Peter. Her collection of poetry, “Breath to Music, Air to Sound,” was published in 2017 by Mineral Point’s Little Creek Press.