Summer Warbler: Showano, Wisconsin

Dusk. After love
we walk a teetering balance
of summer twilight.

A tiny
dull-lemon warbler
silhouetted atop a pole

wheezes a melody—
tiny fluff
against sky

blowing wind
into a pipe organ
of passion.

Fragile bones carry
ligaments and musculature,
nearly transparent

yet throbbings of sound
pour through the air,
touch our innermost ears—

almost another lover
moving within, sweet
blood warming again.

Denise Low

Former Kansas poet laureate Denise Low is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Mélange Block (Red Mountain Press) and Ghost Stories of the New West (Woodley Memorial Press, 2010), a Kansas Notable Book Award and recognized by The Circle of Minneapolis as among the best Native American Books of 2010. Low earned her BA, MA, and PhD in English from the University of Kansas, and her MFA from Wichita State University. She is a fifth generation Kansan of mixed British Isles, German, and unaffiliated Delaware (Lenape and Munsee) and Cherokee heritage. Low served on the board of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs from 2008 to 2013 and served as president from 2011 to 2012. Her book of essays Natural Theologies: Essays about Literature of the New Middle West (The Backwaters Press, 2011) is the first book about contemporary grasslands-region literature. She was guest poet on the Academy of American Poets online forum.

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