Suzanne Frischkorn



                                                                                (after Michael Collier)

The spine
that traverses
is crossed,
surveyed, cut
through, gained.

Ridgecrest. Ridgefield. Ridgemanor. Ridgehaven.
                Climbed. Walked. Taken. Lost.
Our eyes
measure shape—
shoulder, spur, rib,
reef, neck, roostercomb.

Flatirons’ hogback
created by uplift.
Appalachian ridge
formed by fold.
The Midocean ridge at seafloor—thirty-thousand
miles of underwater

                                           faults stitching the planet.



                                             “The bird is important, my dears, so heed him” —Anne Sexton

The birds converse, but I don’t speak
their language. I listen to their songs,
titters, trills and calls. It’s like eaves-
              dropping in plain sight.
A directive to ripe wild raspberries?
Or a speech on environmental disaster?
Is it the Purple Martin, or a Warbler
who tells of his cousin who has a cousin
whose mother is from Brazil and she says
the Amazon is on fire?
The birds look like calligraphy,
and sound like an uprising.
Even the hummingbirds are now bold—
they pause in front of us mid-flight.
The last bird call like a bite.