The Cardinal – a poem by Roberto Christiano

It is early spring
and a cardinal is singing. 
She darts inside 
the house of my feeder.                                        
From my lawn chair
I watch, motionless,
the deft act of deseeding,
her unconscious art.
She does not see 
the approaching squirrel, 
hear the garble of his discontent
the soft flick of his tail.
When he brazens
up the pole to claim 
the seeds as his,
she raises her beak,
blinks her eyes, 
and lifts into the sky,
wings open to the blue—
soaring until I lose sight.

Roberto Christiano won the 2010 Fiction Prize from The Northern Virginia Review for his story, “The Care of Roses.” He received a Pushcart nomination from Prairie Schooner for his poetry and was anthologized in The Gávea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry. His chapbook, Port of Leaving, is currently available through Finishing Line Press. Other work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Sow’s Ear, New Verse News, and Delmarva.

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