As dusk settled around our suburban nest
after dinner we’d leave the mess of our desks
to walk with our children to the park or next door
and visit with neighbors, talk some more
about research and relatives and what’s local news
—the usual banter that kept us amused.
The sidewalks had cracks with heaved up cement
from rootlets of trees by sublets for rent.
Our neighbors were playwrights, professors, nurses and maids
elders, young students, rabbis cheerful and staid
some worked at home, others played.
Yet at dusk our jobs for a moment left us
as fireflies twinkled joy invictus.
The children would a-giggle leave bikes on the ground
run to catch the magical bugs they found.
Shadows lengthened their laughter, unbound our day
from restless worries and dismay.
As the heavens settled in crepuscular peace
friendly shades danced dark from every leaf
of a tree filled with a constellation of birds
who burst into song. We would smile when we heard
The Singing Tree give voice with none deferred.
Our youngest asked if they were quarreling.
That’s just how starlings say I love you, my darling.
photo from public domain