Plain Song

Forest during daytime

A pair of doves
roosting in the eaves
perform a duet
as I slip out of the house,
just me floating down
a cobblestoned alley
in a small town in France
to buy bread, he still sleeping,
his boat-sized boots
beside my small ones
on the tiled floor.
Yesterday we finally
found the ruined castle
on the hill.

We are not getting along
as we walk down a sidewalk
in New York. Sparrows flocking
in the cherry trees, petunias
planted at their base,
gossip, as if they’ve known
each other forever. We hold hands,
start over.

A week after his death
it’s just me again
walking down our path
through the woods.

A bird lands in the small pine
at eye-level, a fat, round chickadee,
and then another, and another,
until ten birds ornament the tree
and sing in unison.

Their five notes,
a micrometer off in pitch,
collide. A slight buzz rises.

It’s just like him
to arrange this. Just odd enough.
His sense of humor.


By Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon is the author of ten books for children and young adults. Her first chapbook of poems, Deep Fahrenheit, was published by Prolific Press in 2019. She lives in Western Massachusetts by the Connecticut River.