Now that they’ve notched these patchcuts
up and down the hillside
you can hear as you’re climbing the trail
the songs of two completely different kinds of birds
at the same time, overlapping:
on one side a bird of the forest, of the trees,
a Black-headed Grosbeak,
chirping and improvising in the canopy;
and on the other a bird of the field,
of the open meadows,
a White-Crowned Sparrow,
deeeee-dee-dee-deeing from among the stumps
in the new, raw clearings.
Parable, from the Greek paraballo,
to throw together, or to cross over.
The open and the closed,
the sunny and the dark.
It’s the path that moves between them.