Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Finches in the Morning

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

At the feeders,
in the brisk of morning air,
they come
golden and fluffed
miniatures of the one sun
that everything is waiting for.

Finches cracking the hard shelled seeds
of flowers that radiated their own
kind of celestial joy during a summer
now passed into bittersweet memory.

In the lingering grey of this frigid dawn,
I ask the steam rising from
the kettle:

Do they long for the months
behind and ahead?

Do they count days until they
are once again swaying
like brilliant pendulums on man-tall
flower stalks?

Or, perhaps, they know every moment
as its own kind of happiness:

The look of the black and white stripes.
The width and weight.
The bulbous triangular shape.
The crackle as it breaks.
How far the shards fall and where.
The taste of the tender kernel bits.

The long streak of darkness that flies
so swiftly with equal awareness and intent
from the patient cover of cedar bough.

The air-piercing blades seeking
to grasp the small butter-faced streak
of feathers and flesh

that is now deep in the boxwoods
because it knew precisely
how and when
to change its focus and perch.

And I was there,
at the window,
loving this world,

Making no mistake in judging
the outcome;
each having needs
and a gift of service to
offer through their living,
and dying.

And me, and you?
Could we want anything more?
Could every moment matter this much?

© 2013-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Wild Life: New and Selected Poems" (

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