American Robin – photo by Debbie DiCarlo
(The legendary Cang Jie was said to have invented writing after observing the tracks of birds.)
A light snow last night,
and now the earth falls open to a fresh page.
A high wind is breaking up the clouds.
Children wait for the yellow bus in a huddle,
and under the feeder, some birds
are busy writing short stories,
poems, and letters to their mothers.
A crow is working on an editorial.
That chickadee is etching a list,
and a robin walks back and forth
composing the opening to her autobiography.
All so prolific this morning,
these expressive little creatures,
and each with an alphabet of only two letters.
A far cry from me watching
in silence behind a window wondering
what just frightened them into flight —
a dog’s bark, a hawk overhead?
or had they simply finished
saying whatever it was they had to say?
by Billy Collins