The rain came—
3.5 inches last night.
It’s been a few years
since we had that much rain
in one day. Water
has filled Doe Creek
and flowed out into the pastures.
With a brisk breeze
there are brown waves
in the green grass.

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The ground makes a watery
sucking sound
when I pull a shovel out,
creating holes to plant
two Loblolly pine trees the Sierra Club
brought during the Earth Day Celebration.
As I return shovel to barn,
fetch sticks to mark the seedlings’
new homes,
Phoebe, perched on the roof of the barn,
calls: “Phoebe.” I look up at her
and she flies and lands again,
nearby: “Phoebe.”

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Back in the house,
later I see her and her partner
checking out a nest on the porch
that two Barn Swallows built last year,
but never used.
Several possible tenants have checked it out,
but no one has taken ownership
yet. It seems too small; must have been
first-time parents,
that Barn Swallow couple. But
wouldn’t the Phoebes be lovely neighbors!

Update:
One of the Phoebes
fetched some sticks and brought
a beakful to the nest.
The other Phoebe sat in the nest
preventing the partner
from leaving the sticks—
or was it grass—
in the nest. There seems
a disagreement
about this real estate.
We shall see…