I use my bare hands to move last year’s dry leaves aside,
this one small movement bringing light, space, air.
Underneath, the tiniest sliver of green.
I take care not to touch because
the past few weeks carried
important lessons in its arms
and dropped them on the doorstep.
Life is fragile.
We are clumsy.
Birdwatching is a skill.
I am hopeful as my knuckles sink deep
in sunflower seed.
Filling birdfeeders is practical and gives me
something to do with my hands.
My hands, which of late have begun to flutter,
two lost birds seeking a way home.
The wind jostles them from all sides,
pushing east then south. East again.
They want to fly north.
The difference between safety and slip is not much.
We know this, but still we chase
the solace of certainty, the comfort of the known.
We are being offered life in the midst of death
as across the planet, people dig deeper,
hunker down and squat,
ready to spring into violence at a moment’s notice.
Feed the birds. They are winging
toward safety. Guide them home.