High gloss filament flung across trees
catches light in shifting air as do the wings
of gnats too small to stick, of moths
stumbling off to sleep, as do
the thrumming fans of hummers. It is
mid-August, summer, dug in and resisting
its descent toward fall. For me, witness
to plants’ spent appeal, there is one prayer—
let autumn come. Everywhere:
a deep desire for rain, as miles and miles
of woods go up in smoke. Pine,
alder, sequoia, oak. And, too, my own
sick redwood struggles, crisping
brown, and sheds. It has become
a lonely pole for filament, neatly strung,
catching beads of light and tiny,
winged things, waiting
to be torn down by rain.
Mary Fitzpatrick’s poems have been finalists for the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Slapering Hol Chapbook Award; featured in Mississippi Review, Atlanta Review and North American Review as contest finalists; and published in such journals as Agenda (UK),Briar Cliff Review, Hunger Mountain, Miramar, The Paterson Review, and nine anthologies. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz with an MFA from UMass Amherst, she is a fourth-generation Angeleno.
Header photo by Engin Akyurt, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Mary Fitzpatrick by Darryl Dmytriw.