Runes by Pat Anthony


by Pat Anthony

Evening now and bluebirds sing
in the hedgerows as a last monarch
settles on a spray of goldenrod yellow
sulfurs sipping from fading pitcher sage

they’ve called to tell me you’re gone
to wherever it is spirits go when they flee
and I try to imagine your orbit
as shadows lengthen beside the barn
and grass darkens beneath last petunias
catching fire along the side porch

have you found your brother gone these fifty years
met up with the mother of your children
who fled her ravaged body that cold day in Jersey
heard again the welcoming whinny
of your favorite horse

come spring I’ll go up to the old cedar birdhouse
the one you built that I hammered onto the post
by the lagoon where I’ll listen for your voice
beneath the eager song of returning bluebirds
and we will chat beside the yellow pear
tomatoes we raided in our childhood

but as night falls on this absence
I recall the eagle diving to snatch a morsel
from the road yesterday as the sun glared
off its mantle and how it soared then
writing runes across the sky and how only now
I think I know what they were saying.


Pat Anthony writes the backroads, mining characters, relationships, and herself. A recently retired educator and former poetry editor, she holds an MA in Humanities, poems daily, edits furiously, and scrabbles for honesty no matter the cost. She blogs at middlecreek currents.

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