Lessons from the Yard

Reading for Poetry and Prose April 15, 2021 

© Catherine M Thompson 


birds light upon the feeder 

and quickly fly away 

they shelter in the cedars 

the squirrels stop their play 

their silent stillness tells us 

a hawk must be nearby 

we look but cannot see it 

no matter how we try 

not a twitter or a chatter 

not a rustle or a flutter 

stillness reigns for oh so long 

not a motion, not a song 


now suddenly there’s movement 

birds call out and come to feed 

squirrels give chase and gnaw at walnuts 

death has left them to their needs 

although we could not see the danger 

creatures all knew it was there 

they have ways to warn each other 

ways to wait and to take care 

it’s a lesson as we watch them 

come and go within our yard 

it’s a time for global caution 

though isolation can be hard 

we must think about the future 

guard ourselves for others well 

avoid death where it is lurking 

until it’s safe as time will tell 

it may take months or even years 

until once more our merry ways 

will let us dance and sing together 

in joyful post-pandemic days