I noticed the mockingbirds first, not for their call but the broad white bands, like reverse mourning bands on gunmetal gray, exposed during flight then tucked into their chests. A thing seen once, then everywhere— the top of the gazebo, the little cracked statue, along the barbed fence. Noticed because I know first with my eyes, then followed their several songs braiding the trees. Only later, this other, same-same-again song, a bird I could not see but heard when I walked from the house to the studio, studio to the house, its three notes repeated like a child’s up and down on a trampoline looping the ground to the sky— When I remember being a child like this I think I wouldn’t mind living alone on a mountain, stilled into the daily which isn’t stillness at all but a whirring gone deep. The composer shows how the hands, palms down, thumb to thumb and forefinger to mirrored finger, make a shape like a cone, a honeybee hive, and then how that cone moves across the piano— notes in groups fluttering fast back-and-forth and it sounds difficult but it isn’t really, how the hand likes to hover each patch of sound. Likes gesture. To hold. Listening is like this. How it took me a week to hear the ever-there wren. And the bees are like this, intent on their nectar, their waggle dance better than any GPS. A threatened thing. A no-one-knows-why. But the wrens’ invisible looping their loop— And I, for a moment, pinned to the ground. Pinned and spinning in the sound of it.