What They Say About Birds
Hassidic Jews say you should never cage birds, it’s their gift to fly free. Birds fly in calm, wind and storm. Travel in flocks, brave all seasons. Even when snow falls heavy on seeds, grasses and weeds, buries food under ice and leaves them to starve. And clangorous cold turns the world silent, hushed as death, dark as the heart of Beelzebub underground. Birds pulse with life and motion. Hop on air, dart, climb clouds. Fold wings, dive in abandon to catch dinner in talons. Land in a bare tree for shelter. Blanketing trees, their feet wrap around branches in a hug. A flock lifts together. Rolls, rises and falls. Wings paddle in unison, a pendulum sweeps over the sun. Birds fly free. A murmuration of feathers. A milling shadow over corn stubble. A sky heart cast to the earth.
(appears in The Yellow Chair Review, Issue 6, 2016 on page 132,)