Bluebird (For Barbara)

You asked me why I’d chosen you.
You hate to give or get a hollow gift,
you said.  You asked me how I knew

the girl as gift who parked her truck to stalk
the raptors on the wires.   It was a test.
We still do park to watch a red-tailed hawk.

You liked the reds, but wept at every blue
near indigo.  That blue, not like the rest.
You knew they flew for you.  And so I knew.

That blue.  It doesn’t fit the woods, it fits a brush,
as if a quill-ink master spilled his best
into the genome of the shyest thrush.

For you they neither toil nor spin yet wear
the pigment Leonardo had to grind from shell.
To feel a hue as gift is rare.

To talk as if a bird is gift is prayer.
I am your bird theophanous; I fell
from clouds to kiss you there, and here, and there.

No blue is much too blue to be the blue
of heaven, nor is any bird who flew not Jesus’ kiss.
To be His kiss the bird just needs to be for you;
for you He would not fly a hollow gift.

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