Bird Understander

Of many reasons I love you here is one

the way you write me from the gate at the airport

so I can tell you everything will be alright

so you can tell me there is a bird

trapped in the terminal  all the people

ignoring it because they do not know

what to do with it except to leave it alone

until it scares itself to death

it makes you terribly terribly sad

You wish you could take the bird outside

and set it free or (failing that)

call a bird-understander

to come help the bird

All you can do is notice the bird

and feel for the bird and write

to tell me how language feels

impossibly useless

but you are wrong

You are a bird-understander

better than I could ever be

who make so many noises

and call them song

These are your own words

your way of noticing

and saying plainly

of not turning away

from hurt

you have offered them

to me  I am only

giving them back

if only I could show you

how very useless

they are not

Craig Arnold, “Bird-Understander”.

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