Bird Light

<em>Bird Light</em>

Last Bird of the Day

It has to do with the way
 it flings, madly,

a shot punctuation mark.

It has to do with the way it leaps branches and telephone wires 
to ride the air to an invisible height.

It has to do with the tilt-a-whirl of feathers,

and with the aria
 you know is sleeping in its throat. 

These are the reasons why you follow it
 with your eyes, 
as you sit in your car at the stop sign 

at Prospect and Broad Streets in Plattsburgh, New York,
the afternoon your great aunt Esther Greene 

is celebrating her 104th birthday in Cleveland, Ohio
Sit too long, watching, until it becomes a small comma
 in the clouds,
and then higher, until it becomes the period yet to be placed 
at the end of her phenomenal days.

It has to do with each syllable of bird
 that has passed through your life

in the book of phenomenal birds you will know.


Reprinted by permission of Saint Julian Press of Houston, Texas.

To learn more about Elizabeth and her book, go here.