Within the backward and upside
down flight of hummingbirds
a great blue heron’s ballad billows:
what is free in this bread-and-butter fixed order
its red-lined tape binding legs and feet? Inside
beguiling pistons heave tight hems: we’re as free
as my cat is to leave the house. Tell me friend,
are we tracking something new, honestly
I’m nothing but weary from Colorado to Lamma Island
yet never- the-less
have your feathers, like a chickadee,
become puffed armor — for generations legs and
feet lay bare and uninsulated meeting a blitz
of wind and ice-covered words. I hear some birds stay
and face the middle of that dark winter’s night
contrary to seemingly impossible odds.
I wish to be like a superb lyrebird with the loudest
call in the world – I would sing –
Who has toilet paper and can you leave me some?
Really, it’s as absurd as a waterfall with no fall.
In my opinion we’ve come undone but few
move within a perennial pendulum that is soaked
in the ancestor’s tale, when we will wake
while capitalism burns lenity and hope
tell me friend of your skill in palm and I will share
mine – perhaps it’s grassy
to purify and calm or the hullabaloo of teas
and tinctures, a loamy sower or a seed saver
for when all becomes dead of night maybe
you are a craftsman for a frosty dawn. The song
of the morning bird drifts me awake –
a new season is coming they cheep and warble,
sometimes I worry that winter birds will freeze near
such cold nights with modest
legs and feet, but they are surprisingly well
adapted – they will not freeze below zero – it is not
simply north in spring nor south
in winter – migration is rooted in our bones.
Tell me, can we greet winter like a dark-eyed junco?
with a chortle.
Laura Titzer (she/her)
Laura lives on the native lands of the Coast Salish/Stillaguamish/Duwamish/Muckleshoot/Suquamish where Seattle, WA resides and is a writer, a lover of story, and constantly ablaze for learning, facilitation, and social change. She’s previously been published in Gastronomica, Kosmos, and A Growing Culture and is the author of No Table Too Small. She writes about social change, feminism, and decentering white dominant culture. She lives in adoration with her partner, cat, and ferrets.