Monday, March 07, 2005

Andrea's Poetry - Migrations

Andrea changed the ending of this poem several times, mostly rearranging lines, trying to decide which should be the last. It appeared in the 1997 edition of the Chester H. Jones Foundation's National Poetry Competition Winners with a slightly different ending. I think this one is the latest version.


Dark outside and morning, my father
and I in the yard sprinkle sunflower
seeds and cracked corn in slow,
generous arcs at the base of the big oak.
I uncoil the garden hose
to fill the dull aluminum tub:
"Just to here," he whispers, pointing,
"Dove won't bathe if the level is high."

He mixes sugar-water
for his hummingbirds,
the feeder a garnet sphere,
fragile as an heirloom.
We tie it gently to a low limb,
where it hangs suspended
like a Christmas globe,
delicate, translucent.

I pour cream for our coffee,
the mugs steaming in the cold kitchen.
When he holds his, I see how he trembles,
the skin on his hands, paper thin.
Though I feel the birds have migrated,
we sit on the porch and wait,
the quiet between us an easy silence
we have cultivated.

When the sun bobs and shimmers
through the red glass,
he goes to wake Mother.
I take our empty cups inside,
stare out the kitchen window
as if I could will the birds back
from the course of their seasons,
my breath a small patch of fog on the pane.


Post a Comment

<< Home