Hot sun on the decaying porch steps. A cold breeze makes itself known for a moment, then halts, silent potential.
A tiny black-capped goldfinch appeared in the rosemary bush and hopped around for a while. Can birds live by rosemary alone? This one was trying. Amazing how far it could stretch its neck to grab a sprig in the blunt little beak; then another hop and flutter, balancing weightlessness. It flew away when I stood.
It’s always the same poems that come into my head with tiny birds. Blake:
And Father, how can I love you
Or any of my brothers more?
I love you like the little bird
That picks up crumbs around the door.
And Merwin’s Mandelstam:
Goldfinch, do you know you’re a goldfinch,
do you know how much?
How Mandelstam himself said “goldfinch” I don’t know. What sounds the bird might have answered to.