All winter you felt nothing. As your body
continued its necessary tasks, your sister,
the snow, remained keeper of your heart.
Now it’s the first warm day of spring.
You walk out to the pasture. There’s much mud,
and still snow on the north side by the pines.
You take this poem from your pocket.
Raising your voice, you read it aloud to the sky.
Soon birds begin to come, first the dark ones:
birds of anger, birds of despair. Then you see
the wren of friendship, the gray dove of hope;
then others of patience, joy and love’s own red bird.
As you read, they begin to fill the air above you,
twisting and diving in great circles around you;
covering the poem with the sound of their cries
until poem and song become the same sound,
blending together under the warm March sun.
At last you emerge from the apathy of winter.
You heart is a great tree beginning to bud.
In narrowing spirals, careful descent, the birds
you have summoned arrive to make their nests.

Stephen Dobyns, “Song for Making the Birds Come”