fly away home

                My six year old granddaughter whispers

to the bird outside her window

that she’s leaving. Her tender-hearted goodbyes

flutter in her tiny breast, uncertain

if the bird might just be lost

without her             


           And I recall the day that I walked in on her

eyes scrunched tight and straining, 

like a woman giving birth,

her sideways whisper, ‘Is it woiking?!’

‘Is what working?’ my furtive breath replied.

‘My wings! — Are they growing?’

‘Oh yes, oh yes, I think I see the buds!”


          Today, she flew

with her family, across town

though to her perhaps it seemed like

the migration of those monarchs, which she’d shown me

in her library book that morning,

so amazed at those fragile wings

that carried them the whole way!

from Canada to Mexico

(the black ones were dying, she’d said,

but their children would survive)


          Landing in her new home,

we patter side by side

on the windy path to her new school.

Her heart takes in the sidewalk chalk

and dandelion puffs to dare her dreams,

and then, around the bend,

we spot the birds

fluttering in those budding trees, and her heart

leaps because they found their way to her.


          And she didn’t even have to speak

bird talk at all!  She’d just had to use

her own girl voice.






%d bloggers like this: