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
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
Will smile a smile of quiet understanding:
'Yes. I know what you mean.'
Cynthia Buell Thomas, March, 2019