On the Feast of St. Francis Transitus

by Kathleen O’Toole

A canvas of dawn sky, a stand of yew
and ash, soundtrack of mixed birdsong,
October crickets. First up: a pair of high fliers
crossing north, stray geese perhaps—indistinct
from this distance. Then a brilliance erupts
in a brief contrail of southbound jet—
luminous snail, cloud hyphen
From the valley, the clatter of freight on rails
bisects the scene, for a moment, drowning out
the crickets. Strips of lavender mist appear,
and seem to separate sound from light
until the sun crests the far ridge to reveal
two horses in the field, backlit, tails like torches.
What souls this morning will exit this world
of such particular pleasures?