Monday, May 19, 2014

A bird like you

The title of this poem has been in my head for a long time, and I knew the essence of what I wanted to say, but somehow I couldn't think of a single word to put on paper.  This morning it all came out at once. It's funny how writing works sometimes.

A bird like you

Brown, spotted, camouflaged
I see your movement in the trees
but I mustn’t get too close or you’ll fly 

back to your distant land
afraid but not afraid
of landing where the stars draw you

always migrating
looking for home in faraway places
meeting coloured birds,
looking for some other brown spotted bird like you.

But for this moment you rustle here, in these trees
I watch you from afar but do not know you -
my book has no label for a bird like you,

who flutters and dances and tumbles with a careful grace;
who dives and hops and jumps and fights the wind;
yet hides so carefully from the other birds,
making barely a peep or a song that would give away identity.

I must stay back here in the field,
admire you from afar,
with a little sadness that I’ll never get to know
the name and the song,
of a bird like you.

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