The Thrushing Hour

29 April 2017

From the rushes,
next the river,
in monastic dusk,
calls the hermit thrush
with its soft, sad song,
sad the light of day
is dissolving in the air,
growing ever thicker
with the whisper of night.

A lone rower, late, returns,
the last lurid colors
of the sunset smeared,
west, behind him.
The thrush, deep within him,
is set to song,
the whisper of night
already cold
on his strong back.

The rushes stand still
to feel the alchemy happen,
the melting of the last
of the day into the first
touch of night, a melting that coats
each rush, one by one,
next the now molten river,
thickened in the grey air.
The rower slows.

How like a dove’s wings,
the rower’s oars,
a dove’s wings slowing
as it lands.  His oars
go still.  The thrush goes
silent.  It holds the breath
of its song.  The rower, on land,
melts toward the boathouse.
The river watches him go.

How still, how still
are the rushed held
in the breath of the thrush’s song,
the last note of which
is touched by night,
to begin the heart of quiet
beating, beating.

Philip Kuepper
(23 April 2017)

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