Kelley White The 2River View, 6.2 (Winter 2002)

It was perhaps thirty-five years ago

the summer the scarlet tanagers came
out of the woods to die. I had glimpsed one
once or twice in deep woods but now saw glow
that sad bright red, paint splattered blacktop, pain
everywhere, feathers pressed and waving slowly
from hot tar. I do not know what caused it,
the exodus, perhaps a disturbance
in weather, a destruction of forest,
a change in the food supply, and they’d rest
their bodies in the sun to die; but what death,
beauty, and what more beauty beyond the reach
of our slow and limited creature sight
waits until our vision be stunned into light?

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2River All is well.