Afterlife

by Sarah Westcott

The marshes have filled themselves
with wetness and bird song
since they were left alone.
The Basran reed warbler breeds
deep in Mesopotamian banks,
the original garden of Eden.

Each dusk, birds with dark eyestripes
flash amber shadows low
over lakes and gleaming mud.
So many species are flourishing,
the African darter, the sacred ibis –
one day women in libraries, flocks of singing girls.