Wednesday Poetry Break

cardinalI heard Garrison Keillor read the following poem today on The Writer’s Almanac, and I just loved the imagery. Tell me what you think. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the photo.)

Cardinals

for Carol

I had seen them in the tree,
and heard they mate for life,
so I hung a bird feeder
and waited.
By the third day,
sparrows and purple finches
hovered and jockeyed
like a swarm of bees
fighting over one flower.
So I hung another feeder,
but the squabbling continued
and the seed spilled
like a shower
of tiny meteors
onto the ground
where starlings
had congregated,
and blue jays,
annoyed at the world,
disrupted everyone
except the mourning doves,
who ambled around
like plump old women
poking for the firmest
head of lettuce.

Then early one evening
they came,
the only ones—
she stood
on the periphery
of the small galaxy of seed;
he hopped
among the nuggets,
calmly chose
one seed at a time,
carried it to her,
placed it in her beak;
she, head tilted,
accepted it.
Then they fluffed,
hopped together,
did it all over again.

And filled with love,
I phoned to tell you,
over and over,
about each time
he celebrated
being there,
all alone,
with her.

— John L. Stanizzi

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3 comments

  1. What a gorgeous poem of love. We have several feeders and this is just what happens.

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. except the mourning doves,
    who ambled around
    like plump old women
    poking for the firmest
    head of lettuce.

    That is just genius!

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