F. Daniel Rzicznek
The End of Spring

Several hawks crouch
above the whirling shadows,

scanning for rodents
burrowing into the daylight.

I’ve been a student
of the wind farm’s rhythms

for less than an hour: long
enough to be a bridge

of easy human breath
swaying from lung to ear.

                  -

The dump charges a fee
to drop brush and dirt off,

shreds it all to mulch
and then sells it back

at twenty five bucks a ton,
orphaned fragments of earth

made into a living engine.
I drive home and light

a dozen candles to let
the windmills, that spin

our lights and machines
into life, slacken their pace.

                  -

Anything that survives
survives persecution:

toads in the knotweed,
ragtag clan of coyotes

crisscrossing state lines.
Even the young geese

paddling the toxic ditches
along the landfill’s margin

teach an empty lesson:
to be of this century

assumes that bliss always
and only precedes waste.

                  -

The mated peregrines
nesting in the clocktower

leave the heads and wings
of songbirds on the roof.

After a good rain, the pieces
wash into the gutters,

spilling out and tumbling
down the courthouse steps.

F. Daniel Rzicznek’s books of poetry are Settlers (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press) and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), and he is coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His recent poems have appeared in West Branch, Colorado Review, Willow Springs, TYPO, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. He teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.