I saw a book by your chair: “Sharing a Robin’s Life”.
I wondered whether such things could matter any longer,
yet perhaps they matter even more during times like this
as we all seem to slide deeper into doubt and despair
over the troubled state of this wounded world.
Through the front window I watch the steady traffic
of small delicate birds eagerly visiting your feeders,
each expressing its own unique personality,
its own surging love of existence.
In the Spring you hung out lengths of yarn
for the parents to feather their nests.
When the blue eggs arrived, you chased away
the cats and crows, and now the young birds
play in the water pools you keep clear and fresh.
At dusk they settle in the hedges of Cherry Laurels,
each one offering up their last songs of the day
before the descent of the oncoming darkness.
All of those soulful melodies drift off into the sky,
pleasing the gathering listeners there, the ones
of whom we have no present knowledge.
They only exist in the old myths, but now
we believe it was all an ancient fraud —
tales for the ignorant and gullible.
Strangely, this might sadden us, perhaps because
secretly we would like to imagine that we are heard,
that someone listens, even if ours is only a small song.
When they weave their sonorous evening melodies,
the Robbins may not realize that we’re listening.
Even so, we are.