Small Birds


Three small birds,

Brown and ordinary,

Frequent our porch this October. 

Fat and round,

They drink water from the dog's bowl,

And the children and I laugh and watch—


The birds come most every morning.


The morning I leave for the doctor's office,

I fill the dog’s bowls,

And the birds hop up the single stair.

The dog sniffs my belly and I wonder,

Does he know a new one is coming?

Could the birds know it too? 


For several days

After the silent heart beat 

I am not the bowl filler.

I stay in my bed.

I don’t know if anyone feeds the dog,

Keeps his water bowl full.


October is hot here.


The morning I come out again to sit,

coffee beside me,

The birds are there.

Three birds for three lost babies 

There in the yard.

They do not join me on the stair

Or drink the dog’s water.

They are quiet and stay under the far tree,

And I think they know that I am again alone.

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