I remember counting birds on summer mornings,
before the heat settled in,
I’d circle the house.
and count the sparrows and bluejays,
a robin or two and sometimes a cardinal.
A task that kept me focused
each and every morning – on small details
like the poetry now.
I looked for colors,
with hope that this time
I might see yellow in a warbler, a goldfinch,
the multicolored painted bunting
or hear a gleeful song that the mockingbird pretends.
The ominous black crow was not here, though venturing
near the field behind our house – I would hear caws
Tick marks on the page were used to tally,
and sparrows always led the count.
A swath of greys and brown, with patches
of blue and red, and always hoping for yellow.
The darkness far away.
This, before the summer heat settled.