Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

For Mary A.

“Irish Farmers Help Save a Bird whose Calls Used to Herald Summer”
The New York Times

The corncrake makes a scratchy sound:
It’s not a tuneful hummer;
But Galway-way, and all around,
It used to herald summer.

Who comes across a corncrake’s nest
May wish the bird were dumber;
But up near Mayo, they protest:
It is the sound of summer.

When corncrakes start to croak, you might
Be moved to call a plumber;
But Ireland hears them with delight:
They’re back, and so is summer.

So, though immune to corncrake charms,
Don’t wince or utter “Bummer!”
Just think of all those Irish farms
Where now they know it’s summer.