Christmas card cliche – I never liked the predatory beak, the fierce air
But for the first spring I have cardinals around me.
Perched in a tree just outside my garden, they search for cover.
Leaf growth late this year, the pair flits back and forth.
I love robin song
Clear, fluting, a deep yearning note,
familiar as the hand of
a lover, on my neck.
The well-known homely thrill repeated
Every April to hand me hopefully out of the long grey winter.
But now, this pair
The male brilliant, his fearless flight
Mocking the feral cats.
And she, more discrete, and yet, her presence
More intense, more of life, eternity.
He sat yesterday on the edge
of an old bird bath I set up,
drinking his fill on the very first day he found this supply of water.
Then, at evening, the song
Three loud clear notes repeated – sol – I found it as I hummed the scale
and then a burst of frilly trills
bubbling, choking notes, rich and full.
A long coloratura aria filling the neighborhood.
The workman, his hammer stilled, raised his head to listen.
Filomena at the window transfixed by the song
and suddenly I remembered that the Turkish word for nightingale is. . . bulbul.