Pagosa Springs Artists

Learned from a Bird Brain

Hearing a random series of clicks

in miy kitchen, I investigate to find

an energetic brown bird with red

markings on its wings and tail,

a female cardinal, sidelling along

the outside windowsill, every

now-and-then attempting to fly

into one of the closed windows,

beak banging.  Not put off, she

tenaciously repeats this effort

over and over, day after day,

summer and winter.  Once, her

scarlet mate briefly joined her

on the ledge, but flew away

as soon as he saw her fail even

once to fly through the glass.


I speculate that perhaps she sees

(but does not recognize) her own

reflection, perceiving it as an

intruder into her territory.  Or,

maybe she sees a space she

wants to explore, unable to

understand the glass barrier.


Famously aggressive, heretofore

whatever she could see was open

to her world.  Now, her beak

merely bangs against a wall she  

can see beyond but cannot

penetrate.  This anomaly is

beyond the cardinal's understanding.

Repeated attempts to fly through

the window are doomed.  But,

she cannot resist trying.


first published in Illinois State Poetry Society 

also published in Fine Lines website

also published in Highland Park Poetry Muse's Gallery Online

©2016 Bonnie Manion


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