“Life-Cycle in Lithia” by Jane Beal

TurkeyinLithia (1)

Two Stellar’s jays
with their black hoods and blue capes
go soaring across our line of vision
into the summer pines.

A mourning dove flies left above us,
a twig in her beak, still busy
building her nest
for another set of twins.

We walk past a pond and see
four mallard ducks, all green-headed,
—no hens—and one stands apart
from his three friends, watching us.

On a shaded lawn, we are drawn
to the mama turkey
with her five young Turks
strutting around her like princes.

By the stream, between two giant redwood trees,
the silhouette of a hummingbird hovers
in sunlight from heaven that caresses her alone –
our heart, there, dancing in mid-air.

After we leave Lithia,
my step-father remembers
my brother Andrew as a boy
chasing pheasants in Arizona.


Ashland, OR


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