The Waiting

Winter morning 

icy groundcover and overcast sky

I walk the neighborhood

Stop and stand beneath a tree

whose species I do not know

breath seen on the exhale, releasing upward

as neck stretched back, eyes awe-struck 

taking in the lime green of bunches of leaves

tucked tightly in the tallest peaks of its arms

tracing the leafless branches, umber and gray toned

between the layered twigs, a body, dappled

spotted belly, gray, black, and rounded

underside of a tail orange and dark

            a flicker

I have seen you in books, in digital pages

your raven-sun tail feathers gifted to me

wrapped in thin baby-blue yarn

such beauty and tenderness of your design

I have waited for you

and here you sit silently, dazzling, observing

I set aside all expectations now

I know if I wait your flight will aim my way  

If I am only patient

as the street cat who peers into the cracked door

of a home, waiting to give in, to trust

to weasel her way into a warm, safe life

curled up in a corner bed, soundly asleep

until her human returns from walking into epiphanies

with western birds.

Photo by Georgina Marie, Flicker Feathers and Elements