The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Doris Brody

Thatís what it is, you know,
this rising in early dawn,
listening for calls, fragments of song,
looking at dark shapes in the gray light,
this need to see into fog,
this trying to find what youíve
seen in the past, this checking
to see if itís there, still there,
this needing to know,
this obsession that starts
with the color of dawn.
And the mist does lift⎯not always,
but often. And the sun does rise
and day brightens. The shapes
become clear, tanagers, trogons,
and toucans appear. The colors
of feathers grow brighter
than all imitations, brighter
than you can imagine⎯sun, feathers,
eye all real. It is checking the real,
this obsession that burns
with the color of feathers.

ďDonít pick armloads of daisies,
asters, goldenrod, Queen Anneís lace,
or Joe Pye weed. If you leave them,
the meadow blooms again.
Donít pick even one trillium,
or the whole plant dies.Ē
Each spring and into summer,
I watch my hummingbirds,
aerial acrobats, metallic green and,
then, in sunlight, the iridescent ruby
flash. Bird, but not a bird,
a little bigger than a bee.
Each spring and into summer,
I listen as my thrush fills my valley
with his song, not just birdsong
but music, rolling, pealing,
lifting from early morning until dusk,
he sings for me, for me.
I no longer strip wild meadows, but
each spring and into summer,
I cannot get enough
of hummingbirds and thrushes.
Father, I have failed.
I lust.

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