Friday, September 5, 2008

The Invitation

Near the crown of the elm, in the yard
across the street,
I see the red bird
seeking a perch to sit,
throw his head back
and sing --

I like to think
he is singing to me --
but, it is springtime
and his trembling body strains
with each prayerful note,
pitching his invitation,

into the evening --
"Cheer. Cheer. Cheer, cheer-uh;"
his courting song
charges the evening air.
I hold my breath,

for among the basket
of heart-shaped leaves in the redbud tree
behind me, she answers
his intense longing, note for note.
Instantly, he joins her;
then, over my rooftop, they soar,

tails fluttering,
two fiery exclamation points engraved in
a molten gold sunset.
Mirth tumbles from my lips,
and accompanies them, like the
melody of bendiction into summer.

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