Like You Are, for Me
Pa, your binoculars make me bionic.
They transport me to three feet away
from the warblers invading the oak.
I can see one’s breast expand
as it starts to sing, its beak
trembling in proud vibrato.
God is the ding in the windshield,
always there, changing the seeing.
You help me tell flycatchers apart.
My first birthday after your death,
my son reminded me, after the song,
“Mommy, chocolate cake is more better
than crying.” Clearest sight outlasts tears,
shows eye rings and wing bars. Thanks to you,
I am right with the birds, without their knowing it.
Tina Kelley’s Rise Wildly is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press, joining Abloom and Awry, Precise, and The Gospel of Galore, which won the Washington State Book Award. She co-authored Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, and shared in a staff Pulitzer covering 9/11 at The New York Times.