“Bird-Understander” by Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one


the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright


so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what to do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death


it makes you terribly terribly sad


You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird


All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless


but you are wrong


You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song


These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt


you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back


if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not


Craig Arnold, “Bird-Understander”. Copyright 2009 by Craig Arnold, via Poetryfoundation.org.

2 thoughts on ““Bird-Understander” by Craig Arnold

Comments are closed.