I remember the day
I became aware of birds.
It was morning.
I was looking out a window
into the vine-covered yard
of the house I was living in
in Enid, Oklahoma. Maybe
10 years ago. Of course,
I’d been aware of birds before that,
in the sense that I knew they existed,
but suddenly
I was aware of birds. I looked
deeply, took in deeply
the Robin sitting long on the fence.
It was a gravitas moment:
I knew birds would be important
from that moment, on. Companions,
guides, heralds…

And so they are.
When I arrived at the farm yesterday
I stopped at the mailbox
and when I opened the car window
to reach the mailbox door
sweet birdsong filled my senses.
In the city,
when I open the windows at the house
to let in the fresh air,
sweet birdsong floats in as well.
Birdsong has become
a reason for continued hope.
If there are birds singing
we are still doing okay.

The Phoebe couple
nesting on the farmhouse porch
now are feeding their second family.
May we pause and let the gratitude
soar.

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And in the new place in town,
where I have finally hung bird feeders
a flock of skittish,
twittering sparrows,
shower in the dust outside the front door
and empty two feeders daily.

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I’m not sure I can keep up with them.
A Blue Jay helps, sitting on the fence
squawking loudly
when the feed is gone.
It’s mighty hard to refuse
a bird.