portion of the artwork for Gail Peterson's poetry

Black Angels in Nikes
Gail Peterson

I can’t hear what they’re saying
behind me on the trail,
but I love the lilt, the hum
of their contralto,
warming early air,
rising to a chirp
or tumbling over marshland
in a drum roll of laughter.
I hear the voice of almonds,
or cream, of rain that turns
the chill of night
into the morning song of blackbirds.

As they pass me,
those two women charge the air.
Their heartbeats
call back summer from its edge.
Trees reconsider—
branches welcome home
leaves they dropped too early.
Birds in flight loop back to listen in
before heading south.
And I, left behind
in stunning silence,
run a little faster.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 34 | Fall 2011