Once a raven with a yellow ball flew by
as though it held the winter sun in its beak
and I thought
I too know how to carry an idea
and send it skyward. An old birch
showed me how:
At the end of each summer,
until another color arrives.
But I forgot this
as a September snow draped its heavy
over gilt-green leaves. It bent
the trees, stripping the old birch
to a single limbless pyre
above a broken tangle.
An owl found it first.
Perching the horn of its body on this new
edge, it sent a breathy herald out
across the valley.
Next, a falcon stood
with feathers fluffed on the birch’s ledge
ready to drop
and then to rise
as if all of this was no
secret. I agree, most of the time.
There is so much to polish, in this world. So much
waiting to be seen
or to see, eager
to carry something
toward the light.
During the next winter storm, two ravens settled
on the birch’s rim, standing together
while a new snow whirled and scraped,