A cool morning breeze stirs the treetops
A swarm of midges become fireflies in the slanting light
Cottontails twitch their soft brown ears
   but hardly pause their breakfast as I pass by
A flash of scarlet among the branches
I stop to drink the air and the playful dance
   of the cardinal and his mate
   flitting, flirting, hiding, chasing

These woods ring with chirps and trills
Grasshoppers and stream trickle lay a steady undertone
Then a mockingbird takes the stage
   there on the tiptop of that young elm
   to warble a soaring aria
It reverberates in the glade, ringing sweet and clear
   from the throat of this slender gray bird
   a range and virtuosity heard only
in the freshening dawn of a spring meadow

As my amazement rises, something sloughs off
   my weary heart and crunches underfoot
   like an old, dry snakeskin
— all my worry, my self obsession —
and I wonder, for whom do the birds sing?
For me, for each other, for the joy of the dawn
Or can they do no other, being made to rejoice?

Where is my perch and what my song
   my hymn to the morning, my gift to the earth?
Do I dare to shed my wary bespectacled awkwardness
   to chirrup brazenly from my truest heart?

by Celeste Boudreaux, April 26, 2020

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2 Comments on “Birdsong”

  1. Beautiful poem, Celeste! I was listening to a mockingbird this morning.
    Peter and I now live in St. Mary’s Convent in Georgetown, TX off Highway 29.
    It is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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