Blue Birds by Julia Swartz

Sunday Morning

A window can sometimes frame a truth

more fully than a thousand words

and so I watch a flock of blue birds

flit among the snow-covered branches.

The background is brown; there is no green.

The tree trunks, barreled and deeply grooved

though some smooth, column the air.

The bushes bare of leaves and berries

are tangled fine as hair bristles. 

The light is in the low dim of a winter day.

The birds streak and flash and catch the light

rusty orange, their breasts; white, their underbellies

sky-blue, their wings. This is what is seen

though we might imagine they are foraging

looking for shelter, strengthening social ties.

For this is what we know, all we’ve ever known

all we’ll ever know.