Singing his arias from the top
of a red bud tree like a tenor
hoping to shatter glass, I unplug
my earphones and listen to his
mockingbird riff of blue jay,
cardinal, woodpecker stutter.
The way he struts his songs,
though hawks circle nearby,
makes me wonder: when
did I lose the courage to sing?
I remember warbling in front
of an old piano, plinking the ivories,
pumping my lungs to Natural Woman,
delirious with notes and reasons to sing.
When did I grow silent, believe music
no longer requires a throat? The gray
bird doesn’t peck an app, download
the Top Ten Avian Tunes.
When he rewinds his song book
and without changing feathers,
trills an oriole, I shape my soft lips
to the point of a beak and sing along.
My husband rushes from the house,
binoculars dangling from his neck,
and searches the trees for a strange
new bird he has never heard.