The dark opens
like a bird or a refrain,
makes loud the forest.
They speak in calls and whistles
who come to the unfamiliar dark:
The death apart from speech.
They gather the meaning
not with tooth or voice or claw,
but with a savage wonder.
The light is small and subtle
that moves in the branching dark
like finch or aspen leaf.
Patricia Nelson is a retired environmental attorney who has worked for many years with the “Activist” group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird (Poetic Matrix Press).