Spring Peepers at Flanders Hill

I try to record the song
lifting from the pines and birches,

one solitary note—shrill—then three
trill, trill—then twelve or twenty,

all at once like a reunion of women
at a kitchen table: my aunts and grandmothers

with wine in hand & cigarettes bouncing
to the syllables of the names in their stories,

their ash-flick of grief.
Why is dusk so melancholy?

The vesper of tree frogs begins
with or without me. I often sit

and watch the end of the day
turn to a steely grey. Those women

each claim their widowhood. Like the X
on the back of the peeper,

we are all marked
in one way or another;

maybe we carry the sign from birth,
maybe from far away.

Each woman in my family
has buried a husband;

in that line I am the last.
Bits of night begin to unravel,

and slowly cover the sky
as the song swells.

I know when I am gone,
it will only get louder and louder.

Didi Jackson

Didi Jackson

Didi Jackson is the author of Moon Jar (Red Hen Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. After having lived most of her life in Florida, she currently lives in South Burlington, Vermont, teaching creative writing at the University of Vermont.
Didi Jackson

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Author: Didi Jackson

Didi Jackson is the author of Moon Jar (Red Hen Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. After having lived most of her life in Florida, she currently lives in South Burlington, Vermont, teaching creative writing at the University of Vermont.