By Pat Gallant Weich
Beautiful yet lonely summer day, week sliding into weekend,
day merging into day
shifting light, day into night thinking what it would be like
to still share with you.
So, looking skyward,
feeling the aching void of what’s no longer, I asked for a sign…
Then, there it was —
that quickly — so tiny,
little bird with long tail feathers, walking along the terrace floor, wild bird cautiously stepping, first ever to land on our terrace and not just its wall,
seeming to debate coming closer.
Were you hurt? You didn’t fly. Equally cautious, I didn’t move
lest you go away,
little visitor, who stayed the day. Come sundown, sad to see you leave but relieved that you could fly,
you took off,
your little wings flapping in the breeze. Come sun up you were back
and back and back again,
walking the terrace like you owned it, your little red feet
splayed against the dark floor.
If I on one side, you followed,
If I on the other, you joined;
you didn’t startle if I forgot
and jumped up too quickly.
I told you about him
and how much I love and miss him I told you memories
no one else would care to hear.
I told you secrets not to be shared, and of a love so deep
and all that I cared;
you cocked your tiny head.
I knew the day would come
that you would be heading south
and be gone with the cool breezes of fall.
And so it was.
On a chilly day you stopped by on the terrace ledge, not joining me, just sitting aloft,
looking at me wistfully,
only staying minutes,
then you took off.
I sensed that was your goodbye.
The next day,
and the next,
you weren’t here.
I think of you flapping your little wings and how something so small can survive. I wonder if you’ll return
in the spring and find us —
a tiny dot on a huge map on a huge planet. Only spring will tell.
Were you Heaven sent?
Or were you sent by the love of my life
to keep me company
on those lonely yet beautiful summer days?
I will look for you
I will wait for you
only this time
I’ll have a banquet ready. I hope, little guy,
you’ll find your way back. I’ll be waiting.