© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Man Who Talked to Birds

This is another first draft.

The Man Who Talked to Birds

Every morning, he had conversations with birds.
What did he say? What did he think they heard?

Every day, he'd break bread and throw it
Over the fence then wait for birds to show up
Or come drink from the pedestaled basin in his front yard.

They were his birds. Joe's birds. Daddy's birds.
This is a man who'd talk to a chicken
And claimed the chicken learned to play
The xylophone. This is a man who guarded
A dove's nest on his window ledge. Who put out
Building material, straw he gathered himself,
For the dove to use, then called the newspaper
When the eggs hatched. This is a man who caught
Young pigeons and brought them home in a cage
For his son to use in a school project. This man
Watched the birds with a meticulous fancy --
Imagined they understood him. Held out his hand
With seed and had them take it from his palm.
He believed he knew what they were thinking.

And when he died and they came to the house,
Everyone claimed they were looking for him.

Mother built a shrine in the corner of the yard,
Surrounded it with ceramic angels so he
Could be where the birds are, and they
Could be with him.

© copyright 2010 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.
All rights reserved

Get ready for April. Bel over at The Itsy Bitsy Monkey extends a special challenge every year during National Poetry Month. Her goal is to post an original poem every day, and she challenges her readers to do the same. And even if you don't take the challenge, reading the poems she posts is certainly worth the visit.


  1. It has a good gentle feel to it; you can sense the guy's attachment to the birds. I'm not sure I understand the two lines starting "And when he died..".

    A poem a day for a month? A big ask. I did 34 January last year but I wasn't working then. No other month has ever come close. Can I do 30 limericks?

  2. Birds are special friends.

    Aloha from Hawaii GP

    Comfort Spiral

  3. What a lovely story....and they would come, wouldn't they, when he died...they do that....