It starts little by little—-a bit of windblown 
dust, the rain, gentle at first, and then rainstorms. 
Next comes the ice and the thaw 
cracking apart the rock, oh the dust settles, 
the wind blows, and alcoves form, 
little hollowed chambers, 
pulsing with light. Out of the rock, 
shelter, like a hollowed ribcage, emerges. 
Oh, you could sing in here, a lovely song, 
a sad song, just choose your register.  
And soon the alcove echoes 
with the song of the cave swallow, 
and then the song of the canyon wren, 
whose appearance is as rustic as the robe 
of a Franciscan friar, but whose song is as beautiful 
as the sweetest song of Solomon. 
And the canyon wren’s song never ceases, not even in winter. 
Oh, what does the canyon wren sing? Beautiful liquid notes, 
a rounded rock or pebble thrown into a pool of water 
after the rainstorm, rockfall, downslope, snowmelt 
rushing over red rocks in the canyon, think of chimes, 
or lost loves. But what does the rock wall 
of the canyon sing--
only heart-
break over rock worn down 
by wind and rain.

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