by Heidi Seaborn
Spotted owls are the first to go, heeding heat’s blush.
Other owls follow, warning goldfinch, warblers, woodpeckers,
chickadees, wrens, sparrows. Even ash-throated thrush
disappear before ash falls, leaving only predators—eagles,
hawks—who dive through smoke to hover
rabbits and mice.
White-throated sparrow, migration hardwired to time and place,
know to fly ahead of hurricane’s landfall.
While whimbrels fly through, threading the hurricane’s vacant eye—
a winged tight wire—
and chimney swifts shift off to France.
Canopy stripped, Puerto Rican parrots disappear
along with Cozumel thrashers and terns
Fifteen minutes before an earthquake, ravens
blacken the sky as if a silent gun’s been fired.
When the moon eclipses the sun, whippoorwills flash awake,
meadowlarks, finches and dark-eyed juncos hush their song.
Leave the perfect sycamore tree, honeyed nectar bush,
beetle bountiful woods, wheat brushed hills—
fly away fly away fly away fly fly fly fly
Since Heidi Seaborn started writing in 2016, her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Nimrod, Mississippi Review, The Penn Review, Yemassee, The American Journal of Poetry, and in her chapbook Finding My Way Home. She’s won or been shortlisted for over a dozen awards including the Rita Dove Poetry Prize. Her award-winning debut book of poetry, Give a Girl Chaos (see what she can do) is forthcoming from Mastodon Publishing/C&R Press. She’s a New York University MFA candidate, graduate of Stanford University, and serves on The Adroit Journal staff. Find out more about Heidi at www.heidiseabornpoet.com.