Today's poem is by Teresa Chuc Dowell
from the perspective of Baltimore Orioles
First are the songs a composition of whistles
and rattles. You always hear an oriole before
you see one. Then copulation; black and
orange ruffles in leaves. They find a branch high
above the ground to weave a bag. Pieces of plastic strips,
strings, branches, grass, one by one in the beak,
mixes with saliva. In the building and in its intent
is nest and what is to come afterwards eggs,
hatchlings helpless and blind, throats stretched
out in a choral for food. Insect legs dangle
from a parent’s beak. The younglings will soon leave
the nest with a nudge off the edge the first time
wings are used to convince air of its ability.
Between two elm trunks vertical and black
bird in sky is an absolute.
Orioles migrate in the night air, navigating by
way of the stars, giving themselves entirely
to open spaces.
Copyright © 2009 Teresa Chuc Dowell All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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