Marvin's Question

A poem.

Marvin's question

Marvin slows in the alley, spots us
in the yard, and parks his truck to visit,
taking a chair in the dusk.

The swifts circling the chimney,
begin funneling to roost along
its rough inner bricks, pulling the light
with them, all soft twittering.

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Looking up, past them, Marvin asks,
"When did you last hear a whippoorwill ...
a rain crow?

Charlie tells of that pre-dawn call,
the sound rare enough to wake him,
to wake me – "Listen!" he'd whispered.
And it came again... "Whippoorwill!"
"And the rain crow?" Marvin asks,
wistful, a boy again.
"When did you last hear one?"
In our silence, the swifts descend.
Sue Wunder

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