Go out into the weather-beaten world
where straw men lean on frozen fields
and find the cardinal’s scarlet flash of wing,
a winter heart, a feathered hope.
Without a camera or a memory,
we travel these old country roads,
turn corners like the pages of a book,
enchanted by the ordinary life
of fields and rocks and woods,
of small wild creatures stirring in the brush.
We take home pockets full of myths
and wonders seldom seen.
We will not give up easily,
Across the breakfast table
in our precarious nest,
we make those promises keep on going
that no one ever keeps. And yet…
there is the cardinal again,
a finial on our old gray fence.
Red is for Valentines.
This is from Dolores Stewart’s gorgeous volume of poetry, The Nature of Things.