Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CARDINAL (for Karen Lafer Haithcock)

i’ll be honest:
i don't notice

birds sitting around
in the sky or in trees

or think about why
(as you do) they sing
or what enables them to
swim across a breeze. i have

scarcely grey memories of this
or that bird backgrounding some scene or other
with an incidental tweet or flutter.

but there is something memorable,
i can’t lie, about cardinals
flying low over new snow,
as if the air were alive and full

of blood and fear maybe,
and too purposeful to dry,
my dear, and too beautiful
to die, baby.