A Spotted Towhee sings in the Magnolia.
Her quavering trills rise to fill the air, then
fall into stillness. On my mind this morning—
meetings and appointments. Yet I find myself

reveling in the bird’s alternating melody.
I catch myself breathing in sync with
her rhythm. How easy it would be to drop my
valise and surrender my body to the lush grass!

On this very day my soul might finally blossom,
like the large, soft, vanilla-scented tepals
in the branches overhead. In the shade of this tree,
I might receive the secret bliss that awaits us all.

The Magnolia is easy to love; so too the Towhee,
whose tattered refrain has awakened this sacred
yearning. But I fear it may yield to the noise
of duties and obligations that also beckon.

Standing in the sanctuary of the moment, will I
give myself into the keeping of her gentle song,
or turn a deaf ear to love’s intervention, her
mundane and ubiquitous song of deliverance?

David Denny is a poet and fiction writer. His most recent books include the poetry collection Some Divine Commotion and the short story collection Sometimes Only the Sad Songs Will Do, both from Shanti Arts. His work has appeared in The Sun, Narrative, Catamaran, Rattle, and California Quarterly. More info: daviddenny.net.