This morning the cattails sway
in the heaviness of red-winged
blackbirds and their sputtering chatter.
Among marsh reeds,
the subtle croak of toads
echoes through glassless windows.
And because neither had imagined
the stillness of the deserted
railway cars bordering the old millpond,
their hands slid beneath soft cotton—
two nude figures startling mice
beneath the floorboards, wetting the dust
on a wooden bench below cobwebs
in the eaves of the cabin.
They dress and climb down the ladder
away from the train tracks,
the girl steps over oiled ties and scrap steel
ahead of the boy who looks away,
watching the splash of red and yellow
on the black wings of the birds in the reeds.
Spring 2012, Northwind Magazine