Hope, in bird form

cardinal in snow

Wild birds arrive from the heavens
like God’s love letters.
On sad days
I watch the blue heron arise
from our pond, gracefully gliding
over treetops into the sunrise.
On lonely days
I observe the wood duck pair traversing our pond,
so opposite in coloring
yet mated for life.
On worried days
I study the goldfinches bustling
at the sunflower seed feeders,
delighting in that day’s provision.
On harried days
I see the indigo bunting’s wings
wink at me like a starburst
against the backdrop of hard maples.
Once, on a day dark as night
I blinked back tears of despair
to witness three sleek orioles
sampling my calamondin oranges.
I held my breath
as they pried the fruit open with scissor beaks
and drew strength from the bitter juice
as if it were sweet honey.
As they left my heart lifted
like a red cardinal from a snowy thicket.