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Posts Tagged ‘hummingbird’

 

 

 

It’s invisible then, the sugar,

after it’s stirred in the jar.

No one would know it is there—

it looks to be only water.

 

But sweet it is, nonetheless,

a secret, a transparent rhyme,

a hidden pleasantness,

a shrine to the unseen.

 

You are my sugar,

the fuel that no one sees,

but I know, as the water knows,

what a gift it is to receive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Midsummer

 

 

 

I pour the hot water

into the sugar that waits

inside the mason jar.

 

Here I am in the kitchen

longing to be

of use in the world.

 

Outside the window,

the broad tailed hummingbirds

swarm the near-empty feeder.

 

They will find, I know,

some other sweetness

if I do not make the nectar.

 

I long to believe

one small act of devotion

might ripple out

 

and affect the world

as profoundly as an act

of hate, but I do not believe it.

 

Still, I stir. The contents

of the jar change

from solid to cloudy to clear.

 

Outside, the blur

of hunger, the whirring

of dark green wings.

 

 

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I wanted to be more like you,

I did. I wanted to fit in

your hummingbird world

with its hummingbird nests

and its delicate wings and

its predisposition toward

delicate things, such as

tea cups and flowers

and gossamer strings.

So I painted my body

with delicate swirls

and colorful, whimsical

intricate whorls, and I tried

to fit my whole self inside

your dainty settings,

I tried, I tried to be more

like you, but there is no hiding

these giant gray legs and

this massive gray trunk

and these floppy gray ears.

It’s obvious. I am an elephant,

dear, and I just can’t squeeze into

this fragile world.

I belong home

in the elephant herd.

And I’m sorry I broke your fine

china cups. It’s so evident now

I can’t fit in them, but …

well, sometimes we need

to fail to learn. We need to digress

before we return.

I still think you’re lovely,

though slightly absurd,

oh beautiful, delicate,

bright hummingbirds.

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Vivian pours the sugar
from the cup into the mason jar.
I add the boiling water.

“It is magic,” I tell her,
“We’ll make the sugar
disappear.” She does not

believe me, and of course,
she’s right. It does not disappear,
but she is fooled as I hoped she would be

and squeals in delight as we swirl
the jar until the last white spiral
dissolves into the clear.

“Where did it go?” she asks,
in disbelief. “It’s here,”
I say, and we dip our fingers

into the water and lick the sweetness
as proof. It is only later
I remember the salt doll story,

how it stepped into the ocean
and lost itself. Or found itself.
Your call. We add cold water

to the simple syrup, four parts
to one. Then chill.
The recipe is simple.

The story simple, too.
I look at my hands. So solid.
So full of grasping. So

familiar with want and need.
And part of that longing
is to dissolve myself. And part is

to find stronger glue.
The feeder is empty now.
Best not to completely dissolve, I reason,

at least not for today, not while
there are still birds to feed
and a young girl to hold

in these so solid arms
as we watch through the window
the approaching blur of gray wings.

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