Elegy in early spring

Here it is again, a thing
we might assign the name of herald.

Except that it is just a bird
with red-rouged breast, come into the tree

which has not leafed yet.
I think of the time I saw a photograph

of a man I had not seen in over
twenty years, a child not mine

locked in his arms. I recall
what I once read of grief:

how we mourn at least twice—
first, for the one who left;

and next for the self left behind. I lean
closer to the window, but the bird

is no sooner here than gone—
small bruise of color lifting

away from the twig. My own
face, blurry in the light;

reflection of itself receding
behind the unmoving pane of glass.

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