Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Through the Looking Glasses

Maple branch tips scrape the window glass
Branches alive with warblers
Vivid angel birds
Resurrected canaries who gave their lives in mines
Saving us from our own poisons.

Right eye against my spotting scope, left tearing in the wind
Bufflehead drake’s head up, down, jerking back,
Scooting forward, red feet pattering.
Singin’ and dancin’ in the rain. Please! Please! Please!
Trapped in the moment.
Female watches an approaching eagle.
Gazes far beyond me to eggs, ducklings.
Trapped in tomorrows.

Aspen cavity
Black emptiness suddenly fills with a little face.
Hot yellow eyes meet the cold hard stare of binoculars
And retreat.

Scarlet Tanager—click! Gotcha!
An image on a glass screen, anyway.

Great blue heron
So close I can hear it breathe.
Concentrating on movement below the surface,
It doesn’t see me.
Too close to focus with binoculars
Unless I step back.
Yet too far to fathom.