April, early morning, birds have the microphone –
the squawk box in full dither – I scan up and down
the sundial sniffing for signal with my beak
as if some frequency of light and shadow on my face
will clear the static.
The Byrds – classic rock, no,
"First known use of 'chugalug' was in 1945" – talk radio, no,
A woodpecker's twhack knocks on my bones:
"Hey old man, I'm tawking to you!"
and each tap bends another creaking nail,
Filches in the bark of my tired muscles for grubs or honey
or whatever leaves me flightless and famished
in my walk down this dirt road every morning,
octets of birds and peepers a Met Opera
broadcasting Tosca on public radio,
Those strings of my father's Puccini and Verdi
lifted from vinyl and woven into nests that spiral outward,
my mother belting "Praise the lord, and pass the ammunition!"
waking us with her birdshot voice –
are those notes or holes in the sky?
Sun comes on the loudspeaker, it must be recess.
I hear you say "hey" and finally I'm here, present,
your hand, feathered in mine.
A quiet settles in.
I get the news.
The Sunday Muse