Midnight After Winter-Long Rains


When everything is dry at last
and all the dripping stopped,
when lichen-draggled branches cast
shadows across a crop
of moss decades in the making, listen
to the Swainson’s thrush piping its lesson.

Sitka spruce filter the long light.
The darkness they shelter
remains alive all through the night
sun of summer. Burnished
jewel-bright, a ruby-crowned kinglet sings
and dusk gathers ravens in its wings.

Hemlocks needle this bed of moss.
Raven pinions whisper,
ghosting past the tidings of loss
filtered through our kisses.
Trace your fingers across my skin. Erase
what winters within my most secret place.


Peter Munro is a fisheries scientist who works in the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and Seattle.  Munro’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry, Beloit Poetry JournalThe Iowa ReviewBirmingham Poetry Review, Passages North, The Cortland Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Compose, Rattle, The Literary Review, Carolina Quarterly, and elsewhere.  Listen to more poems at www.munropoetry.com.