…this is what agony wanted,
                               these wildly colored birds to inhabit
                               my mind far from pain.
                               Now they live inside me.

                                                – Jim Harrison (“Oriole”)

Over sixty years here
and I don’t know the names
of my closest neighbors,

and taken their blurring
presence for granted, like
tourists speeding up the road.

I see now why old Harrison
is fond of birds, independence
so often missed as souls

prepare to fly. Yesterday
driving back from my brush
with the outside world,

scattering its frustrations
like litter along the barbwire,
he cut through the cold air

for a quarter mile
beside and a little below me
to pace the pickup. For

those playful moments,
our gray and graceful flight
owned both earth and sky—

a sense the untamed envy
in this, or any other life. How
could I not know his name?

One response to “PERREGRINE

  1. I like ’em all, but this one is a favorite….


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