Feet firmly perch
thinnest stalks, reeds, bulrush.
Until all at once, they attend my
female form, streaked throat, brownness.
Three fly equidistant
around me, flashing.
Each, in turn, calls territorial
trills, beckons ok-a-li, ok-a-li!
Spreads his wings, extends
inner muscle quivering red
epaulet bands uniquely bolden.
Turn away each suitor,
mind myself my audience.
Select another to consider,
He in turn quiver thrills.
Leave for insects.
Perhaps one male follows.
Maybe a few brood of young,
Silver Maple samaras
wing wind, spread clusters
along with mine, renewing Prairie.
As summer closes, I leave
dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies,
mosquitoes, moths, spiders, crickets for
grain, see, Sunflower;
join thousands to flock Sky—
grackles, blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings—
Swarming like distant smoke clouds, rising.
By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke