Song School

On our porch swing
Drinking coffee
Listening to chickadee chatter.
It begins.
The transformation of frost
Via dawn light.
The slant of it
The micro-nuance of it
as it cracks & melts &
slides down the roof.
Yes,
it chatters too,
“I am the Spring’s harbinger.”
Then silence…melted & alive in the gutters
& then to the rain barrel,
a very different
species of noise and signal.
The chickadees chickadeedeedee,
The drips ripple
down and out.
An uncompromising duet,
A song school.

Eli E. Elliott, Jr. Rest in Peace, Dad

My father died this week. To the end he was his own man as he chose hospice care over hospital care. To the end he was teaching his survivors how to live. By doing so he proved there is no end, only a pause. All that he was had evolved from what came before and what we all are evolved out of that as well. So it is in every family, as Mother Ann of the Shakers said, “Every force evolves a form.”

I wrote this poem about twenty years ago to honor my father: