Each spring the thrasher, with her restless tufts of finch feather,
considers her nest anew.
Whether she should build it from the fallen limbs
of a late March thunderstorm that rides on the heels of winter,
or pick apart the outworn shreds
of fluff and feather, disgarding tiny twigs in favor
of something more sturdy, with gold-crested leaves
that shimmer in the sun and wind.
There beneath the cypress and oak
we spread our ivory bedsheet, uncovering
last night's left overs, sprawling
our branched-out bodies spritzed with the light sweat
of an early spring bike ride.
I read to you from my favorite collection - The Fish -
waiting eagerly for your thoughts - impaled impressions -
a little scrap of something from the fieldscapes of your heart.
I look up and your eyes are cast downwards - reading,
and listening, but mostly reading.
I think of another far away time, a moment's snippet
from the scrapbook of our springtime picnics,
when I once read to you from this very same book,
and waited with this very same breath, abated,
for some word from your heart, and only heard the squaking
of the thrasher as she tossed about in the brush,
whisking pineneedles here, an unruly stick there,
purposefully rebuidling to her own, unspoken wishes.
I remember how, back then, I wanted for you to be
(so badly, so blindly), someone
and something - else -
which I had once loved.
And I remember how you beat your tail
against the bark of the tree
in protest! And tightened up the strong muscle
of your wing blades, anxious and defiant.
"You cannot shape me," your shoulders said.
The thrasher finds among the thin needles of a tall
and slender pine, new leaves for the taking.
I put down my book and watch her quietly
as you kiss my ankle -