Saturday, March 04, 2006

Winter Doesn't Always Spring Eternal

The little male bird returned first,
that cold spring morning on the beach,
with a piece of colored paper in his beak.
Before nightfall the colored paper,
along with hundreds of twigs,
and other colorful objects,
hopefully would be tightly woven,
into an architecturally perfected nest.

Tomorrow his lady would arrive,
She would be expecting nothing less.

In years past,
as soon as she landed,
she would inspect the nest,
and if it met her approval,
she would signal him,
and they would prance on the beach,
and dance on the tops of clouds.

Later they would snuggle in the nest,
and keep each other warm during the cool spring nights.

She would lay her eggs,
and incubate them until her babies hatched,
while he foraged for food,
and brought it back to their wide,
and hungry mouths.

At daybreak she arrives and finds him hauling twigs,
he's been working all night,
and the nest isn't finished.
She notices a broken leg hanging loose beside his good one.
The nest is messy,

Her heart is broken.

but overjoyed to see her,
he tries to hide his pain,
and he feels his heart weigh heavy,
while waiting for her signal of approval.

The pain will keep him from prancing on the beach,
or reaching the tops of the clouds.

Mystically programmed for mate perfection,
for the sake of her children,
she stays a while,
then her biological clock tugs her,
pulls her,
screams at her,

and she flies away.

Like the female bird watches her mate,
I watch someone I love struggle,
It isn’t a broken leg,
or arm,
or other physical affliction,
He doesn’t do drugs, or alcohol, or cigarettes;
but he takes medication,
in industrial-strength dosages.
Dosages that hopefully calm his mind,
so he can think,
and plan,
and conduct regular daily affairs.

He sleeps sometimes for more than 14 hours,
while those same,
mystical forces that push the little bird,
work on him too.

He wants a companion,
someone to share life with,
someone to build a nest with,
and prance of the beach,
and fly on the clouds with.

He chats online with women,
who sometimes go to movies,
and get pizza with him,
but soon,
they see his imperfection;

they fly away.

The little nest rolls empty across the sand,
and on a distant fence pole,
standing brave on one good leg,
with the wind whipping his feathers about,
the little male bird watches the empty nest
blow across the sand,
then with a sad and heavy heart,
he turns away,
and leaps into the wind.

JR Bumgarner
March 2005

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