The pines are quiet this morning in the midst of so much noise–crow’s crackle, tittering of finches, warbler’s song. No wind today to whistle through them, bow them toward each other. They stand, straight-backed, their lion’s tail branches curling skyward, tufts extending into grey as the water from my little fountain babbles meaningless, and the dog whines her disappointment that the whole world cannot be eaten. Beneath the dirt, nymphs curl at the end of 17 years, their armadillo jackets pulled tight. Do they vibrate there in the fibrous filaments of mycorrhizal networks? Have the trees begun to whisper underground about the horde preparing? They have seen it before–five times, six, and they stand, branches up, letting the day open–maybe to the nesting of another noisy songbird, maybe to a swarm of red-eyed insects ready to tear at woody skin.
Patricia Davis-Muffett (she/her) holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and was a 2020 Julia Darling Poetry Prize finalist, won an honorable mention in the 2021 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, and won first honorable mention in the 2021 Outermost poetry contest, judged by Marge Piercy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, Quartet Journal, Comstock Review and Gyroscope, among others. She lives in Rockville, Maryland, and makes her living in technology marketing.