There’s a sink where I eat sometimes. There’s a window above the sink where I watch birds. There are phone wires where the birds sit sometimes, and there are other places too. The piece below is fairly rough – a first draft in fact. I hope you don’t mind me sharing.
(Upon standing at the kitchen window)
At first it takes my eyes and mind a minute
to agree on what they’re seeing,
because none of us, me or them
have ever seen birds bathing in the gutters
of a pitched roof before. Building a nest –
sure. Dive-bombing into the slippery
morning grass. Perched on wires
outside my house, singing blindly tucked
into the currant tree out back. We’ve seen
these things, this brain that can paint
the scene without thinking, eyes that
in a blink can reconstruct such thoughts.
But bathing in the squared-off white gutters
on my neighbor’s new roof – shaking their wings
as a dog would its fur, running up and down
the pitch like children from knoll to spring?
Four of them, then five, then a sixth – if you
could imagine smiles on beaks, if any of us
were close enough to see what they thought,
I know they wouldn’t be wondering why
they hadn’t done this before but thanking
some bird god they were doing it now.