Gifts

Today, in the woods
I chanced to look up
at the exact moment
when the cardinals converged,
on a branch across the path,
as sunlight danced rambunctiously
on the eager foliage.

With a tuft of red on grey,
the lady loped in from the left,
to a breathtakingly precise maneuver
from her man in rich scarlet regalia,
who dashed in
from a low thicket on the right.

I saw the exulting kiss,
a small flame of red
among the green flags
fluttering giddily
in the spring afternoon.

This baring of love’s delight
is a gift of nakedness
that compels the eyes
and makes the heart stammer.

How did they know to meet
on that branch?
Had they been confirming details
of their discreet pas de deux
across the labyrinth of tree limbs,
sing-trilling their plans while
I was obliviously trudging the trail?

What are the chances, I marveled, that
I would be gifted witness to this,
singular moment,
Unhidden just above me
on a branch,
where passion ignited from throat, chest, and wing,
presses beak points into each other,
among the tens of thousands of branches
along this miles-long circuit in the forest
(I travel so slowly and rarely these days)?

In a half breath and a flash
he has sprung off into the woods.
Again I am taken aback.
Can it be just that?
Cad, I immediately conjecture–
the wily one who has other visits to rush on to,
in other quarters.
No doubt a hunt is always on.

She stayed behind,
but just a moment longer.
Just long enough, for me to see
the worm in her mouth.
Fruit of his toil,
coiled in her beak.
She carried it off squirming.

There was after all
more than just that.
He delivered
as a gallant man does–
coin and nourishment,
praise and offering,
sustenance and substance–
these gifts of love in
a wriggling worm.

Embed from Getty Images
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About ansuseye

Blog writer and photographer
This entry was posted in Ethnicity, Nature, Poetry, Urban Environment and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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