Poet’s Corner – After Solstice – Susan Moorhead

After Solstice

The first winter night after December 21st

comes with a promise of longer days and

shorter nights, yet the yard is pitch black

by seven. Winter is the season for waiting,

for accepting how things come in their own

time without consideration for our impatience.


We’ve heard the soft rounded sounds of

hoots in the small forest behind the house,

delighted by the  presence of owl, a sentry

in the trees, a magical figure in our hopelessly

storybooked minds. Tonight we mute the TV,


listen again for the volley of short screams,

urgent and piercing. We sift through a

catalog of sounds online: fox and fisher cat

and raccoon, and determine our first

guess is right.  Fox.  Standing at the back


door, letting cold into the house, we record

the cries on our phones, and look up why 

do fox scream?  Theories are territory disputes,

or mating calls, but what if it is just a voice

seeking its own kind?  What I have found


with you, standing beside me, whispering

as we listen to the fox.  That you notice

how dusk turns the sky peach, and when

the leaves start to turn, and how, together,

we give attention to sounds in the yard late

at night, lending us their wild language.