Red Bird

Red bird came all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else could.

Of course I love the sparrows,
those dun-colored darlings
so hungry and so many.

I am a God-fearing feeder of birds.
I know He has many children,
not all of them bold in spirit.

Still, for whatever reason —
perhaps because the winter is so long
and the sky so black-blue,

or perhaps because the heart narrows
as often as it opens —
I am glad

that red bird comes all winter,
firing up the landscape
as nothing else can do.

by Mary Oliver

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