A cape starling or amethyst, some little bird –
warbler, shows up in the greening spring, miniature
flicker-beat fluffing her breast, and gingerly finds
her perch among
our young. From somewhere within the murmuration
she exhales, violet-backed, wearing her mantle
like a boy.
Pied starling, fledging along with our own nestlings,
content to hover, and admire the view. Long-tailed
her plumage lambent and glowing. Lamprotornis -
how fitting. A Tiffany work of art. Shimmer
up to us,
little bird. Gently she lights upon our New York
nest, but every so often I sense the sudden
run, the nimble
lift-off and vanishing flight of this lovely bird
back to Port Elizabeth, to the African
the vivid southern tropics that’d spawned this chick.
No address in the U.S. is proof
of residency except for your pulsing
heart emoji, fitted into a cage
of ribs built of pipe cleaners and hair
elastics, a rainbow of chortles,
and a compass pointing straight ahead
and a little to the left. Ons is werklik geseënd.
Published in Paddock Review.