Billy Renkl Illustration


Last year’s sassafras leaf, clinging still to a bit of its yellow luster, has gone gorgeous in lace, and the cicada, dwelling in the black soil for all those years, has climbed out of its shell and taken to the trees and begun to sing, has become the song of summer evenings, and the sweet-gum ball has lost its spiky armor and released its seeds into the generations, and the acorn, too, has shed its shell and sent roots into the earth, and the dead sycamore at the edge of the quiet lake’s lapping water has leapt into flame as it does every single evening, and then the red-winged blackbird, the bright badge on its wing a flare of incandescence in the light at the end of the day, settles on a branch and sings the nighttime home.