Red-winged Blackbird

The spring afternoon was lazy and warm

Full of late sunshine golden and beckoning.

Impulsively I slapped on my trainers

And took off with delight

For a stroll up the quiet road

Past the retirement home and the bulky farm

Where cows and horses grazed in succulent fields

Abutting marshlands further inland.

 

On my way back refreshed and relaxed

Striding comfortably

I heard a twitter from the wires flanking the road

And I glanced up.

A red-winged blackbird was perched right over my head

Watching me boldly with bright, focussed eyes.

I smiled and said, 'Hello. Isn't it a lovely afternoon?'

And it bobbed its head in clear agreement,

'It is indeed a fine time of day.'

 

So began a conversation as I strolled on

Chatting with the bird who sidled along the line

Precisely with my footsteps, flipping over the posts

To land again on the next wire, eye contact never lost.

The odd car flew past but we paid them no mind.

We were 'talking'.

For more than halfway home the bird and I chatted

Neither hurrying the other

Our eyes locked in communion.

 

When I reached the turn-off

Where I was visiting

I stopped, and the bird stopped.

I said, 'Good-bye.'

And waved a small salute.

It rose from the wire and swept back

Through the open sky

To the marsh reeds of its home.

 

At the time I never said anything to anybody.

Who would believe me?

But it was not my imagination.

It was not.

In a lifetime of wonderful moments

This was one of the most magical.

And I treasure it.

Perhaps some one person else

Reading this

Will smile a smile of quiet understanding:

'Yes. I know what you mean.'

 

Cynthia Buell Thomas, March, 2019

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Comments

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Ruth O'Reilly

Mon 19th Aug 2019 23:00

Beautiful poem Cynthia yes I definitely understand what you mean about getting a chance to connect with a bird. It is usually a blackbird or house sparrow in my case and I do feel so privileged when they don't fly away in fear but actually look and Bob along with you for awhile!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 26th Mar 2019 12:02

What a heart-warming response to this poem. I have enjoyed looking up 'corvid' and 'passerine', two words that I once did know and have long since forgotten 'in detail', but not 'in effect'.

I did once pause at a gate to watch some fine horses far off in a big field. I was just looking, but the curious creatures sauntered right across the pasture and congregated in front of me, gently blowing their nostrils open, and clearly interested in my greetings. I didn't stay very long. But, on my departure, just a few steps down the road, I heard jingly-jangling behind me, and the gate swung open and I had four horses clopping down the paved road catching up with me. I took off at a run to get my sister who is the 'horse person' of the family, to return these huge, friendly animals back into the field. They opened the gate, not me, but I didn't know how I'd ever explain that to anybody else who might be very accusatory, such as their owners. She was/is a 'horse whizz' and she came to my rescue full speed, laughing her head off.

'You have such charisma!' she hooted. 'No, really, they were probably just bored!.'

Sisters are allowed to pat with one hand and smack with the other. I wouldn't know about brothers: I don't have any.

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Jason Bayliss

Mon 25th Mar 2019 07:00

Yes, I can relate to this and I'm not surprised it was a redwing blackbird, I think they're Corvids aren't they? Might be wrong. But highly intelligent birds.

Loved this.

J. x

jennifer Malden

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 19:52

Yes, I know what you mean'. Of course one can 'talk' to other living creatures. Great writing.

Jennifer

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 15:29

Thanks so much for sharing such a special moment so eloquently. 😃

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raypool

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 10:40

A joy to read Cynthia. No special skills needed just joy of life and the willingness to share it. Ray

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Rich

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 09:02

What a wonderful place to be transported to this morning - thank you for sharing. Sounds like a lovely walk you had.

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Wolfgar Miere

Sat 23rd Mar 2019 06:01

I like the idea of this Cynthia, to me this is a lovely piece...i wonder how many people talk to animals thinking it is slightly mad? (Not at all mad I think)

I regularly used to talk to horses I would see daily whilst out running. Eventually I came to know one specific horse which would always come up to the fence line whenever he saw me coming. I remember my wife asking why my runs seemed to be taking longer, I told her I was talking to horses....Haha, I loved that.

There is something in the communing between species, even if it is just comfort it is worthwhile.

All the best,

David.

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