At once and together a murder leaves
its hideaway, overgrown alfalfa
grass. The shadows bullet rotten hay
bales black then back to yellowed cut grass.
They roost. Lodge on limbs of white oaks who skirt
the field’s edge. Seven ricochet off
the fence almost in command with the caws
that backdrop their evening’s retreat. Summer
is off-ending into fall and still day’s
heat capped by clouds makes cicadas scream.
Their shells left to blister, bodies leaked out
but for now, everything bleeds sound in sun.
At once and together, how full a cast can sound.
Alison Missler lives in Tampa, Florida where she teaches creative writing at a local middle school. She is co-founder and co-host for the Read Herring reading series and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Florida.