michael hogan

(July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)

Ornithology


Hidden in the waxy leaves of ficus
the Great Kiskadee krees his three-note call.
He will not stay beyond this greeting nor
with green and yellow camouflage be seen

unless you know his image blindly.
Even then you must paint black
and white striped head across a small abyss
of light and shadow that the tree makes as

it bends in the wind. Then within the leaves
shining in noon sunspill like a puzzle
where all the colors break, piece him together
a feather at a time. Sharp and lucent

this sky (which outlives us all) swallows his
flight like yellow pollen lifted by the breeze.
The puzzle incomplete. A tease, this bird,
which says, when someone trembles in the dark:

how clearly the light speaks from every tree
as long as there are two of us to see.

Submitted: Thursday, February 28, 2013

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