Cardinal

There sits the quiet bird on a mossy rock. The woods and the air the trees breath about their own business just the same as the little bird, and they share a harmony that is also independent from one another.

In the ground, on the water, in the bushes, and held like a saucer by the branches up above are the homes of the forest, simple but essential; a reprieve from the wilderness held together by the bits of it. Gathered by sticks and mud, they create and protect something for themselves and for the little ones they welcome to the world there. Speckled eggs, as pale and blue as the sky they rest under, tether the bird with a call as strong as the one that will call her once their occupants break free. She leaves the rock for hunger and at the snap of twigs like fingers clicking together.

By night the wings of feathers give the air to the dark wings of bats. Without song or a dance do they go about their parts while the insects buzz around and below them. The deep call of owls come sparse but are still there as a reminder that not all of the birds sleep with the blue-jay, and even through the loud night filled by the buzzing of insects their soft wings can be heard, beating like sheets in the air floating gently to cover a bed.

By dawn the world of the night embraces sleep and the space is clear for that of day. Like the stream nearby the life of the woods flows steady and without thought.

Far away, a person rises just the same. On the ground, in the houses, in the cars, and held on a bench like any other taking seat are the homes of people, complex and forthright by not even the lowest fool. They pass their days with a noisy connection and isolated to every moving part around them. Open wide are the eyes and ears while stretching out hands, and they take fistfuls of everything there is to take. When its all let go, by minute everyday, it’s the ground touching our feet that feels its hands filling up.

The people hate mess and don’t think it belongs, and quickly what doesn’t belong in the environment is scooped up from the concrete so it can be taken to its rightful place. Still these things are given as fast as they can be taken, fist over fist over fist, and in the ground, in the water, in the bushes, and among the saucers and innumerable other used things they go.

On the metal of a fence sits the lively bird; red and pointy at the tips. The noise of the city keeps it away but if it truly tried it would learn to love it.

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