Song of the Final Place

by Lawrence LaVerdure

When will the whippoorwill call us home,
home from the laboring world
to the mossy forest floor where
the fox and rabbit journey
in search of food? There the wind
plays a chorus to the loon’s lament and
the cricket’s short symphony lingers.

When will the owl tell us of the winter’s hunt
among the snags and branches laden with snow?
The silent owl twisting past the puzzled woods
to where a mouse skitters through the
drifts of necessity, the bureaucracy of hunger
only to color that final place with the scarlet wax
of his small, soft body. These are the
details of death’s arrival at a defenseless moment.

Can you hear the snow as it settles its drifting diamonds
over the sensuous bend in the stream,
over the rocks that march down the hill where
the ice pries them from their ancestral home on high?
All the nooks and gathering of limbs have their hands
full of whiteness that the sharp, cold wind slices
thin from the storm clouds; a comforter to
lay over the naked land sheltering the life below.

What path will we follow to that final spot where
the silent ally of darkness plucks us from the
forest of confusion, sums up our wanderings
with an exclamation point or a question mark or perhaps
An ellipsis…of red? We are all food for something.
We are notes in the song the wind makes in the trees.
We’re diamonds settling into the naked landscape,
a symphony of snowflakes and deeds.

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Lawrence LaVerdure's picture

Born and raised in a small rural town in Massachusetts in 1949, one of twelve children in a French-Catholic family. My father fancied himself a great thespian and would regale his children with outrageously hammed-up performances of ballads and poems. The seed was planted and I regaled my own children with the same and this eventually turned into writing new material. Currently live and write in the Front Range of Colorado where I read stories for my granddaughter and she provides me with new material.

Last updated September 05, 2011