The Other Part of the Miracle

{First appeared in Northwest Coast Magazine, Spring 2009}

The Other Part of the Miracle

is the red-wingeds’ return, black
birds with a revel of crimson
on their shoulders, a call that sags

like a drawl, like the short-long-short
of their flight. March has finally
come. Mind you the birds perch

on cattails sprung and faded, and
the grass towering still above
the swamp is dead.

The mountains in view endure
a thin chill of snow, and
the ocean at my back grows tired

of raging. But if I stand long,
I see the birds are many,
their electric-red flashes almost

hard to believe. And the trees
that edge the wetland flush
a suggestion of chartreuse.

We have outlived one more
winter of storm and loss.
Surely miracle enough.

But the other part of the miracle
is the red-wingeds’ return.

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