The Field Cricket

by Zachary Berndt


I hear him in the hungry hours before dawn,

struggling for a foothold in the strange orchestra

of the wind. Staccato, he begins again and again

to proclaim who he is:

A dark song of limbs, treble clef of tangled longing,

avatar of night air and shivering dew.


He sings with his wings in the same manner

as he flies, his small body suddenly weightless,

a shining wish like a perseid burning

as he falls and goes on searching for his mate.

He calls out to the black body of the night

for another pair of flittering wings,

six more legs to spring with yearning –   

But what is empty about this burrow,

this gleaming pupil of the earth?

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