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I Remember
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by Morita Bruce | 2009

I Remember: A Poem by Morita Bruce

 

I Remember

 

Development marches across increasingly scarce natural lands, endangering native birds and others who cannot adapt.  In their place come alien species that thrive where humans do - such as crows and starlings.    If we allow this to continue, then here is the story I fear we will tell to our disbelieving grandchildren:

 

 

I remember when birds were colorful, and sang songs.

 

 

     I remember bright red cardinals, perched on bare tree branches like Christmas ornaments, sparks of red flame against glistening white snow. 

     I remember shy bluebirds the color of summer sky, creating cascades of rainbows splashing in the birdbath.

     I remember tiny chestnut-brown wrens darting nervously onto the deck to grab a seed, their erect tail feathers flicking up and down like exclamation points.

     I remember goldfinches gathering sociably on the tall, narrow thistle feeder, stacked on every available perch, a pearl necklace of sunshine.

     I remember indigo buntings, flashing royal blue feathers in flight, bursting with grace and joy.

 

I remember when birds were colorful, and sang songs.

 

     I remember awakening to the singing of birds greeting the dawn.

     I remember the slow start of single chirps, of single calls, of single songs.  The chorus of songsters grew as the sun appeared, becoming a full-throated chorus of delicate trills, complex songs and energetic chirping of birds announcing territories and inviting mates to join them. 

     I remember how the daily songs became more subdued as summer passed, but always they greeted the dawn.

 

I remember when birds were colorful, and sang songs.

 

     I remember how they died from our relentless destruction of lands once shared.

     I remember single birds valiantly defending territories with song.  But their songs were no match for mankind’s bulldozers or the bullying gangs of blackbirds that followed close behind. 

     I remember those colors, those songs, now replaced by the harsh cawing and cackling of birds who wear the drab colors of mourning.

 

 

I see birds the color of mourning, and try to remember when birds were colorful, and sang songs.

 

 

Morita Bruce

 

 

 

 

 

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