Black headed grosbeak on a branch. Photo by Linda Tanner/Flickr


by Mary Eliza Crane

Black headed grosbeak female feeding her offspring. Photo by Linda Tanner/Flickr

Early morning wrapped in woven wool

white breath dissolving into fog,

one fawn lay supine near my feet

sweet docile sister grazing in the weeds.

Mother doe caught and held my gaze,

but bored by lack of threat

she faded back away into the fog

my steaming teacup met, eyes drawn upward

sunbeams crown a cottonwood

that cast one patch of light

on the first golden leaves drifting down.


Teacup empty, hot oats and milk consumed,

sky deep Nordic blue from a lover's eye,

on the smallest branch atop the tallest fir

black headed cinnamon breasted

grosbeaks flock and call.

They take the best sun, and cast no shadow.

Unlike us, they leave some for tomorrow.


(First publication Quill and Parchment, Nov. 2012)

Photos courtesy of Linda Tanner/Flickr