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The prairie is still green,
a strange and wonderful sight
for this time of year. Frequent
little rains—strange
and wonderful—have brought just enough
moisture for that. Can’t get a shovel
in the soil though.
Our large, sweeping notions
of signs of the seasons
must give way now,
thanks to global warming
and climate change,
to noticing more closely;
to paying attention to the discrepancies,
the details that are different.
Familiar patterns are
vanishing.

Tree leaves yet to turn
(though some are falling,)
the green view across the prairie,
but…
three mornings ago,
I heard a most welcome sound:
that raspy “fee-bee, fee-bee,
fee-bee.” It is Phoebe,
returned.

This morning I heard,
for the first time since spring,
winter’s chatter
in the tops of the trees
south of the house.
It was a flock of Red-Winged Blackbirds
returned.

Too this morning,
I heard Cardinal—
not summer’s chirp,
but its winter song:
“Right-cheer, right-cheer,
right-cheer.”

Looks like early summer,
sounds like winter’s
coming.

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