What drew them up the hill, away
from sheltering pines, overgrown sumac, everything
in leaf now that summer's nearly here?
Was it light inside this little house,
our soft conversation, our attention
to the roast, the salad, before us?
What is it they saw, standing by the window,
their gentle heads raised, then browsing
again in the grass: Was it our shadows
bent over our plates, our acceptance
of what we have, what we are,
as the slow weight of day began to leave?
--I remember the beginning of a moment:
the sparrow's throat opening, the dog
crossing the room, my hand on the door,
the smiles on our faces, the song on its last notes,
everything in harmony for a few beats of the heart.
Then the door opened
and their heads lifted, the air turned still.
I heard the rustle of grass, saw their white tails flash
as they darted awkwardly down the hill,
and dusk came on like the closing of an eye.