The Goldfinch & The Aspen

IMG-3306 (3)The July before I died
began stubbornly unseasonable,
sadistically so.
June had been mostly grey and rainy.
June could be that way sometimes,
just because.

But July?

It’s possible, then,
that in my desperate longing for sunshine —
for a warm, illuminated beacon
in the dark homestretch of my mortality —
I might have summoned the Goldfinch,
like a magnetic field
unable to distinguish bird from our nearest star.

Through our French door window,
from my daytime habitat —
pillow-festooned armchair,
arm’s-reach books & screens,
remote control & water bottle —
there appeared a blur
of brilliant primary yellow,
the yellowest of yellows,
in flight against the backdrop
of lush green forest,
then coming to a landing,
bobbing on a thin branch
of a young aspen.

Over days that follow,
this breeding male,
ready as he is to implant new life,
his plumage at its brightest,
like a sliver shaved off the sun,
is radiant,
even when that ball of fire in the sky
is obscured by clouds.

This is the Goldfinch’s aspen.
I see no other birds visit.
Except, one day I spy him,
showing off for his drab-feathered mate.
They dance their carnal dance —
the sun waltzing with a cloud.
The male will then molt away his spring wardrobe,
and in September,
as I embark on my last journey,
the aspen’s leaves will turn goldfinch-yellow,
before browning and floating away on a breeze.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close