The Bird and Me
This is a poem about a bird I saw through my kitchen window.
“The Bird and Me”
Yesterday, I made coffee, and as I stood there at the sink, there it was— a bird just on the eave. It was gray or brownish—just a little fellow, but it's head and breast were red like a bloodstain or blush. A gradient! The professional designer in me thought because it had an intense coral center that faded off into the edges. In poetry classes, a teacher insisted on naming things in our work. So we walked beaches in San Luis Obispo and Big Sur. We camped on the hot ground of Joshua tree all to use words like honeysuckle, sagebrush, chaparral, sea cabbage, snowy plover or black-throated sparrow. What is your name? I know you are next to my loquat tree where the fruit is yellow and overipe in January due to winter storms. I know my home is fenced by Eugenia bushes, and they've yet to bloom the red berries that will feed you this overbright summer. But who are you? We stare at each other waiting for one to decide to move on with life first. And I don't want to make the moment disingenuous. When I walk away I don't want to turn you into search terms: "grey bird native California red breast." Maybe I'll get your name someday. Maybe I won't. Modern life is filled with too many choices— to know or not? Such a big choice about such a small thing. I don't know how to move, but right now, I'm here with you.
—by Sarah Dzida (Mar 2023)
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