Poems by Gail Larrick

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The Night the Crickets Began To Sing

by Gail Larrick

From Canary Winter 2011-12

Gail lives in Northern California in the Russian River watershed. The landscapes of Ohio, Utah, the Arizona deserts, and California provide deep sources for her work.

The last spring frogs burrow into mud,
leaving behind a few nights
of silence. Moon
behind dark clouds etches the sky
with masks, draperies of light.

After the silent nights
a ringing quiver of crickets fills
evening just after dusk. A new song,
played like a bow across a violin,
starts, stops on a single note.

What came before silence is forgotten.
Silence is forgotten.
Only the song of the crickets
contains the night,
calls out.

Stay awake, stay with the music
we make. Hear how we sing
in waves, layers of sound,
a chorus that moves
over grass in the dark.

Something, someone passes.
The music stops. A leap of silence
as loud as the crickets opens the night,
a long rest
before the song goes on.

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