Wednesday, March 12, 2014


It’s one of those few and far between, fleeting, winter clothed in spring days here in the desert,
and I need nature. My girls are birds and I am bird watching.  One we call Birdie, though it is her sister

who flaps her arms rapidly when ruffled as though in flight.  Kept home, they fashion
themselves in what they like.  Today, one’s plumage: a sassy, black, off-the shoulder

too-old romper and another wears a long and lacy, outdated,
ink stained, yellow “Princess” dress.   A lonely only,

I am endlessly fascinated by their sibling system.  This intimacy.
This sisterhood by birthright.  I ask the baby to bring out her sister. 

“Play,” I say, “and I will write a poem.”  She flies inside, and I watch through the window;
she drops her head down, waiting assent, desirous of a playmate.  Once outside,

they stop first to survey the boxed-in, blooming garden and take note
the opportunity a nearby abandoned watering can can offer.  They are earnest

in their fun.  Suddenly with rare proclivity for production, they ask if I am done.  “Read
it, Mommy.” “Play,” I say, “so I can watch.”  I determine to not mind voices but mark

their movements.  Lovely little girls taking turns filling from the hose the watering
can, then pouring.  The older one moves first to the toy littered, recently muddied

sandbox and begins to dig bunches of wet clumps into leaning lumps of firm packed dirt, mounds,
earthy dunes.  The younger bends down to join- to help- perching, dress draping down

over dirty knees, feet and toes.  Dirt is abundant here.  We are short on grass and green.
The older fills a bucket by shovel, carefully leveling the dirt before dumping. 

They both freeze, crouched, at some imaginary danger.

Some menace desert bird steals my attempt at deafness, hiding its giddy 
voice from view.  Soft, feathered clouds streak the blue and our certain sort of dry glazes

the air, a beginning mark of the radiant fever to come in Arizona.  Ardent, twin-like sisters
sit, stained but dollfaced, digging down now like as if sifting for treasure.  Treasures

to decorate a castle.  The twittering, invisible bird finds an answer.  Kindred spirits
their calls flit back and forth, suddenly emboldened to know they are not alone.

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