Blue Birds by Julia Swartz
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.