Finches Through a Window


The finches are back in the swamp maple

yellow sharp among the rusty ‘copters

Where do they go?

What do they know?


looping in & out of its springy ‘do

grasping purchase on diagonal twigs

spy-eyeing what I only imagine

What do they see?

When will I see

beyond this frame?


I joined an online photo group this morning:

“What do you see

from your window?”

Portuguese beaches, moose in Norway snow

vineyards on Carolina’s outer banks

fall in Tasmania, Moscow sunset.

Where am I?

What do I know?

What do I see?


Spiderweb around the edge, a pasture

there beyond the lawn, the street, barbed wire

fence then ridge above the river willows

jagged line of redwood green on blue.

For who? Where?

For you? There?


The one I know and love is here, her hum

throp-drop fabric cutter, foot, her bobbin

spins, the warm dry scent of heated fabric

fills the hall between us, pieces of heart

snipped, stitched & quilted all for Linus kids

her offering to me upon the bed

below the window pane where finches fly.

Where else is there?

A billion billion places

not to be.


Yo! Spain! Like Hoyt Axton, never been there

but you might like a distant redwood tree.

Romanians in the Carpathians—

Look! Here it’s the western edge of the world!

See egrets ply the wind among the fields

then count the snowy plover on the dunes

and pull the purple ice plant from the marsh.

Is this enough?

Within this frame?


In Capetown there’s a southern sea of hope

a friend in Rio pines for cool north wind

another caught in South America

struggles to return home to Murry Road.

Vermont may have the real sugar maples

but there are steelhead in the Batawat

across the field and redwoods on the ridge

swallows swoop and yellow finches frenzy

the day-bed’s made, the cider’s in the fridge

I hear a pause in her machinery

and we are here

behind the edge of dunes

beyond the web of frame

time to shelter

safely in our own warm place.