The older an animal becomes
the more seasons are broken down
into stretches of moments with ends
and beginnings and marvelous middles.
Sons and daughters and mornings
turn more talkative as the sparrows
measure length of daylight slowing
cycles of hunt and sex to fit.
The cows and horses with seniority
who know the barn from the pasture
celebrate standing still over hay
one eye on calves and colts cavorting.
The more experienced birds of prey
and prey have ceased to hear clicks
of clocks or calculate the angles made
by shadows shortening and lengthening.
Long since have they and the grandest
beasts of fur and feather and blood
both regulated and slowed count
not minutes but messages.