Sufficient Unto the Day – September 2017

Sufficient Unto the Day

by Rima Walker

The hemlocks hug each other for warmth.

Their feet in the snow, their branches

entwined by the force of the wind

assaulting the grove.


In eerie daylight, when the storm cloud

pours in over the mountain range,

the birds turn silver where the

weakened sunlight catches their feathers.


When the sky darkens at last,

the flock descends to the grove

and noisily waits out the gale,

impatient, chittering its displeasure.


At last the wind calms and the sun is back;

the flock rises like a cloak flung

around the shoulders of a giant,

black graceful soaring turning,

one entity racing across the sky

to light on the birch branches

on the other side of my land.


In small friendly groups the birds come

to the feeder, take turns on the perches.

Satisfied, they leave for the mountain range.

Twilight comes; it is very still.


A frantic side-to-side motion in the air

tells me a bat is feeding, catch as catch can,

as it heads for its destination.

Where are the other bats?


The birds move as one;

If a fledgling falls behind,

it cries in loneliness.

The lone bat skitters

from insect to insect

and that is sufficient.


Night falls suddenly and its blackness

produces ice chip stars and a sickle moon.

I tuck the afghan around my legs

and ponder the intelligence of the bat.