Monday, December 14, 2009

Cardinal Heart

A brilliant red speck
sits on the denuded tree
like an ornament
from another season.

Hard to believe you
were not a sign, with Bill
in the hospital his bad heart
giving up, blood-filled
tubes sticking out
of his body, his blood
the color of your feathers.
We were in early Spring--the new
life inspired and hurt.

Some nights I barely slept.
Each dawn, along
the street where
I live, your desperate
calls awakened me.
You were calling your
mate with a song
I’d never heard before. Your
notes rippling
in the air like silver bells
making such heart-breaking
music I was reminded
of all my loves
everything that time sweeps away
the days that beat
like a heart until something
shatters then stops.

As Bill’s new heart began
to mend, growing new
roots, you left
weeks after your arrival
when the crocuses had broken
the ground and the leaves
on the trees hid the muted birds
that began to arrive.
Soon after you left,
the world was again
green not cardinal red.

Published in Bloom Magazine