NPM: Bird-Understander

I love love love this poem by Craig Arnold that I found over at the Poetry Foundation. I know I feel really special when my dear one notices –and values!– my talents or whatever it is I have to offer. Such a sweet poem about how we can treasure one another. If you like this poem, consider purchasing Arnold’s latest collection (that I know of), Made Flesh, which showcases his precise, original talents.

by Craig Arnold

Of many reasons I love you here is one
the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright
so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal          all the people
ignoring it          because they do not know
what to do with it          except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death
it makes you terribly terribly sad
You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or          (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird
All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird          and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless
but you are are wrong
You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song
These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt
you have offered them
to me          I am only
giving them back
if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not


3 thoughts on “NPM: Bird-Understander

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I thought of you when I read it, but didn’t want to oppress you with poetry by calling attention to it on facebook or anything.

      1. Oppression by poetry — now that’s my cup of tea! And some students might feel it a ready description of their time in my class.

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