Outside Interests by Susan Ramsey
Happy, Poetry Friday. Mama Mia presents the following.
This one ran in Poetry Northwest in Vol. XLII, Number 3, Fall 2001.
The scarlet birdhouse you gave me for Christmas
was, that first year, rewarded by a wren.
We braced binoculars, charmed to watch them wrestle
long straws sideways through that narrow doorway,
wondered how they accomplished anything,
so frequent was that bubbling, sudden song.
The next year a rose breasted grosbeak
moved into the kitchen cupboard, behind the cans
of lima beans. Dinner was difficult,
but the sense of privilege compensated.
When the nesting pair of sandhill cranes
chose the living room sofa, we gave ground,
sitting on the bed to read the paper,
to eat our take-out, the barred owl on the bookshelf
asking "Who cooks for you?" New interests
drive out old. The cats left long ago.
Goldfinches scallop through the living room,
a lemon arpeggio in one window, out the other.
We tell ourselves the Canada geese are good
graphic design, if not quite furniture.
Listening for the field sparrow's decelerating
ping-pong ball, we turned the phone off. We
don't miss friends unwilling to debate
the relative thrills of hosting a white-throated
versus a chipping sparrow. They left
some time ago, huge pale eyes turned inward,
murmuring about our loss of habitat.
Labels: Poetry of Susan Ramsey