Braden Coucher

Rookie (December 10,1986 / Portland Oregon)

Humming Bird - Poem by Braden Coucher

There’s a pavlovian effect
that I’m sure happens when I smoke on my porch.
Amidst the plumes of cigarettes, a message
calls out to my mother’s humming birds.
Each arrives, a single terrified flutter,
delivering me
an unobtainable message while nourishing
the both of us. He, and humming birds seem
entirely masculine, protrudes the plastic
pink flower to take the sugar water-the mystery
of a more perfect, man made flower.

Why do we offer the birds these gifts?
For our own revery they unknowingly offer
while simply drinking from the unending
We stare and repeat ourselves,
lost in a miniscule but deep penetrating
awe of their racing wings, hearts and
The purple needle tongue laps and laps
faster than any labrador could.
It zips so quickly that we wonder how much
the tiny roar of perfection can actually ingest.
But they do, they take only what’s needed
and dart in and out of the man
made vat of transparent food before returning to the flowers
and subtle sounds of our backyards.
I pull the smoke into my lungs, squinting
and lose all art, love and thought
for the sight of such indifferent, buzzing
I love them because I will never hold them.
To hold a hummingbird would insure its death.
A child would not know what to do with the racing
tiny heart of a hummingbird but would surely
its huge soul disappear between palms
as sand slipping through and returning to the
fold of shores.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, May 16, 2011

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