Tree shadows etch the shed.
I spoke with my father on the phone,
A static connection, his voice in shadow.
The yard is a play of ice and dirt.
Today it is hard to see shed for shadow,
Dirt for ice, or to hear a voice
No matter how closely I look.
As I listen, the loudest sight
is a tree, then burst of birds—
expansive wings—like a flutter
or bang, their blackness
in every direction air will go.
This beginning is speed—
unknown weight and a known
expanding, to where
their universe nods magnetic,
larger than what they do not realize
Gabriel Welsch writes fiction and poetry, and has published four poetry collections. His most recent is The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse. He lives in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, with his family, works as a vice president at Juniata College, and is an occasional teacher at the Chautauqua Writer’s Center.