Sunday, June 22, 2008

Five Minutes with Mirabelle on a Saturday Afternoon (a poem in prose)

Mirabelle, I say, come look at this.

She is at my side in an instant, standing tip-toe to squint through the screen. What? What?

I point, and she sees them: two birds hopping across the narrow strip of grass (low weeds) separating one overgrown bed of flowers (tall weeds) from the next.

The first bird, the one in front, pecks at the ground with its sunflower beak, while the one behind waits, impatient for an offering, rushing the first with a flap of wings and an outstretched neck.

Starlings, Mirabelle informs me. Parent and fledgling.

We watch for long slow minutes, the smaller black parent and the fat mud-brown juvenile, one pecking, one open-mawed and in constant twitter: hurry hurry more now more.

Do you think it can fly? I ask, and right then the two are up and gone, disappearing into the neighbor’s tall trees, as if the factory whistle had just sounded to call them back from lunch.

It can fly, says Mirabelle, and she lingers for a moment, then returns to her play, leaving me to stand at the screen, watching the yard, waiting for the next thing to happen.

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