THE PARLOR WINDOW
( for Eleanor Downs Gallaher, My Mother )
This evening when I at last have time
I shall pour myself a glass of whiskey.
Sitting by the parlor window I’ll watch
the birds outside. They’ll dip their wings to me
Gliding to the feeders which I have filled
With seed, nut pieces, dead worms and fruit bits
All things birds like to eat. I’ll sip my drink
Then I will raise my glass to them, my head
Inclined in friendly acknowledgment pf
Swift courtesy, their sign of gratitude
For my un-looked for service. “But, I like
you,” I will think as I sit with my drink
In my hand, warming from my touch. “I like
Your nervous hurrying, the graceful lines
You follow in your morning, your evening
Visits to my feeders.” The wind will stir
Tree limbs, shivering the few leaves left still
To loosen them. Freed, they’ll flutter random
Tumbling. Rolling. Stopping at last against
A blade of grass, my neighbor’s fence, a dry
Brown flower stalk to wait for rake or snow.
Soon the wind will slide across the chimes. Outside
They’ll sing at its direction; wind sown song
Above the fallen leaves, over the feeding birds,
Into a tree ringed sky while I sit by
The parlor window, whiskey in my hand.
Then I shall leave my place at the window,
Sky glowing red behind deep shadowed trees,
Lights on in neighbors’ living rooms, soft songs
Of the last birds, the last leaves whispering.