“The Man Who Loved Hummingbirds” by Jeff Daniel Marion

humingbird

THE MAN WHO LOVED HUMMINGBIRDS

Once I saw my father
lift from last fall’s leaves
below our wide picture window

a hummingbird, victim
of reflective surfaces, the one clue
a single feather clinging above the sill.

He cradled his body in his cupped
hands and breathed across the fine
iridescent chest and ruby throat.

I remembered all the times
his hand became birdcalls, whistles,
crow’s caw from a blade of grass.

Then the bird stirred and rose
to perch on his thumb.
As he slowly raised his hand

the wings began to hum
and my father’s breath
lifted and flew out across the world.

Jeff Daniel Marion
from Lost and Found (1994)

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