The words return,
fold over and begin anew,
a shrouded spring
enveloping mockingbirds
in shaded trees
who curse their surroundings
in alternate rounds, as if fighting with the dawn.
Their tune’s timbre
recasts yesterday and all tomorrows
as a graveyard of upended trees.
Soon, all creatures bent on survival
will throb with the song suspended
in the thick of the forest
that dies by the dawn’s first light.

Amy Strauss Friedman Amy Strauss Friedman teaches English at Harper College and earned her MA in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in *82 Review, Rogue Agent, After the Pause, Fractal, Extract(s), Referential Magazine, Crack the Spine, and elsewhere. Amy lives in Chicago, where she is a regular contributor to the newspaper Newcity.