Grandfather built birdhouses
Cedar shavings scented winter days
Skies empty of south flying transients.
Corduroy pants seat, held in arm
Pages turning; he recited names
Incantations. Calling back warblers
lesser yellowlegs, purple martins,
Living in watercolor extravagance.
Green springing forth in admirable tenacity,
Hands under wool sweatered armpits,
I peer into the homes of birds,
Where they’ve nested in apple trees
Abandoned orchards, light fixtures, porch gables
And cedar birdhouses that hang
In our woods.