Listening for the quiet in Illinois…

There is a sound I heard just outside

the backdoor, that must always be

there when a breeze blows across

autumn prairie grass dried and stiff,

already asleep for winter, quiet until

rustled, when the cicadas singing fades

without reason or rhythm but that one,

lone male screams on calling for her,

bravely, awkwardly he sounds a

single voice until realizing, assumedly

without embarrassment but instinct

as all others have stopped; and then

there is only the soft rustling of dry

prairie grass in a quiet hidden under

missing centuries of Illinois wild

cultivated into submission just

outside the backdoor and a breeze

reclaims what can only be heard

when listening for the quiet.

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