First the breast comes to mind,
that red vest between the brown lapels.
Sturdy bird on twig thin legs,
it seems a brisk wind could topple you.
I've never seen a bird upset, little stick legs
skyward. There you are, little
rotund friend with a sweet song
that sends me back
to grade school days, where I watched
your southern cousins listen
cock-headed groundward with unblinking
eyes. Through sun-washed windows,
the teacher droned on about spring
while we good little children budded
inside, like the trees pink with promise.
Somewhere up north the snow was melting,
eaves dripped with ice tears
but we had flowers all year round
and my heaviest coat was a sweater.