I lived high up in a city beech tree in Boston I inherited from my parents. Mom was a red and dad was a black bird. I displayed her colors in tufts, and they say my song pitched like his. I carried her tonality. I wanted better for myself but i was scared. The cars and trucks made my home shiver; the city made me feel like mine was the only tree. The pollution and city rats were dangerous, and worms were scarce. I was scared of change and scared not to change, flipping and ducking my head in my chest. I left early one morning when car alarms would not stop chirping. I was sure I was a goner. I flapped my wings and flew for several suns and moons on end. I knew not where to. Or for. The currents, unusual to a little bird like me. I broke and fell, rose and tumbled, and slanted across the sky. Nights I huddled helpless and cold in a rain gutter, dreaming. When I could go no farther, I found a hollow in a little birdhouse. Abandoned! What luck! and a fertile ground below. My nest I created of all the diverse fabrics under the sky, in the moonlight, fortified with lead paint chips while humans slept. If I may say, I was already a miracle when I learned to transcribe letters dipping my beak in berries. I wanted to recount and record my travels and knew no other recourse. My beak has not the strength of the woodpecker, and our songs are taken by the wind, so soon they evaporate. I found words the humans wrote on bits of paper I made my nest with.
I copied the many slender forms by my beak with the berry, and learned which forms coupled off with others, and the when and how of it all. I already knew why. I was already a miracle when I discovered your tongue. Now half my life story has been told and I can rest with. It’s a lot for a little bird like me…for a little bird like me it is a lot.
— listen to KatYa read her work @ a local Sacramento Writer’s Group @ http://writersontheair.com/ —
pool of feeling untranslated
now you got a Royal. glints
black beneath a gunmetal sky found its way
through the windows
stands there stern
with her keys
won’t make a sound until
you touch her
July left the dance with a sway and a sigh, drunk off the summer sun high, the fan and her shoulder blades evenly matched as the crickets kept time safe beneath the wing. August came in hot, on fire, with something to prove… boy, did he know how to move.