He sang a lot in younger years
but birds tire too. Too many to count
dropping from mud nests in barn rafters. Look
at those blues and the unfading yellows,
I like to hear about the days before men
handed polished bones to women
who take them with small stiff nods.
Beds were smaller then.
Each hand had five fingers and a palm.
But it’s okay, because I hear today
we use our heads.
A mother’s best kept secret is that nothing’s new.
The moment a squirming individual
appears from its hiding place, she knows
One. Every thing is different.
Two. Nothing stands alone.
Now when toddlers or wrinkled men
refuse to hold her hand, she cries.