Shirley Lake

This morning was so hot
a robin trotted in the garden,
-first this way, then that-

The sprinkler showered his wings
as he bowed to spread them
among the broccoli and greens.

I thought when he left he'd had enough
until he flew back with what appeared
to be his mate, her beak stuffed,

clutching a handsome sheaf of dry
grass, white string, and some fluffy
stuff that could be from the coat

of my shedding dog. She dropped
her bundle to join his water dance.
I don't pick up the phone on days

like this, or eat much either, just
oatmeal and apples and a potion
I brew from weeds that could kill

a chronic disease or clear the heart
of need. I harvest before the sun gets
too high and I water the garden long

and hard. Try keeping it all alive, I tell
my children. Plant something around
your house the birds will dance for.

~ Shirley Lake
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