March 2014

To the Constant Season

Lunenburg, 2012

by Zachary Bos


Frost on the marsh grass this morning,

    and a line of crows flying over.

Time for praising what fills the year

    with transitoriness: the cold,

the scarcity of food, changing

    in the angle of the sunlight;

for praising the iron cycles

    the birds read as Time to move on;

for praising what makes the singing


of the music of the woods of

    gladful songbird April nothing

like burnt October birdsong—like

    the hink-hawnk of the coughing geese

enlarging and diminishing


    as they come in vees and go, gone;

like the sound of the hawks leaving;

    like clouds of straw-crowned chaffinches

alighting on branchtips, melting


into the brushwork of the bush

    waiting hidden until duskfall

when they flock through the dark, going

    to some elsewhere where they’ll be new

for a few days or weeks, passing


    over or through, never staying,

never always here, always just

    missed. Till… nearly here again. When

the lilacs bud bright again and


the beautiful birds, thank it all,

    unmigrate, come back to unwatch

the constant burial of fall,

    cover the skytop nakedness

with their numbers in returning.



Zachary Bos is a founder of Pen & Anvil Press, the publishing enterprise of the non-profit Boston Poetry Union. An alumnus of the graduate poetry program at Boston University, his poetry has appeared most recently in Bellevue Literary Review, Spare Change, Route 2, Oddball Magazine, and Found Magazine.