April 2013

The Bird Watcher

The Texas sky was ripe with curlew flocks
that brought the season of huisache blooms,
the first of many migrants who remind
us life renews after the freeze. But now –

I stand on my veranda, staring south
through February at the empty sky,
binoculars in hand. I dream of their
return – the phantoms fill the blue with shades

of cinnamon like children’s laughter fills
a room. This March, a million birds will ride
the humid breeze across the fields of brown
and dying citrus trees:

the golden plovers, warblers, chimney swifts
and ruby hummers birth from spring’s horizon.

But not my bird –
                   the curlew never comes.
To me, this ripening sky looks bare. I wait
for one last glance, a lissome silhouette
of curlew wings, before the last bird falls

to earth, a russet orange blossom at
the close of spring.

—Katherine Hoerth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *