Nothing is still, not light or leaf or the sharp-edged
shadows of leaves. Never birds, who ask and answer
and having forgotten, ask again. I’m re-learning,
restless like the horn I heard a man playing months ago
from the top of a child’s slide. He marked the beat on a rail
while the freight train entered from the south, bass solo,
and a spindle-legged girl turned a cartwheel below.
In this meadow along the forest’s thin edge, someone
has built a nest box for bluebirds who can no longer find
a natural cavity—but instead swallows find their way in,
whistling and gurgling from their ready-made perch.
Susanna Lang’s most recent collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, is forthcoming from Terrapin Books. Her last collection was Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013). A two-time Hambidge fellow, her poems have appeared in such journals as Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, Prime Number Magazine, and Poetry East. Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language. Among her current projects is Self-Portraits, a chapbook collection of ekphrastic poems focused on women across the arts. She lives in Chicago, and teaches in the Chicago Public Schools.