I heard a whippoorwill call this morning before dawn.
That song in the dark brought back memories,
Of being a child and hearing that song
Come in from the fields on summer’s evenings,
Walking along a dirt road with my parents,
Cherokee roses and passionflowers blooming
On the barb wire fences
At the edge of the road.
Of being on a camp out with a group from the church,
Where the river is so clear and cold,
You can barely swim in it.
The birds so loud outside the windows
We could barely sleep.
Of living in a house on the edge of the city,
And taking long walks away from town
And peering in the dusk into the woods,
Trying to see the source of the song,
The call and response of the birds.
It’s a wild sound, here in the big city.
It goes with the coyotes we hear sometimes,
And the owls that also decorate the dark hours
With their trills and hoots.
It gives a country girl comfort to think
She hasn’t lost all the wild things
While surrounded by the big city.
In the daytime, surrounded by too many voices,
The sound of too many motors moving
On the roads and in the sky,
It gets too noisy.
It takes the calm sounds of the night
To restore the soul.