He Pierces the Morning with Fresh Urgency: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge

In our courtyard,
in the tortured and trimmed
hawthorn tree, whose blossoms
send their stink into our front window
every early June,
a male cardinal puffs himself up
in a topmost branch
and sings so loudly,
so persistently,
that I worry that he’s calling
for his lost mate.
So often, you see them
first one and then the other;
when you spot the flash of red,
you know to look also for rosy brown,
winter, spring, summer, or fall.
And now there is only red,
and he pierces the morning with
fresh urgency.
Maybe it’s only an announcement:
This is my tree.
But then, where is she?
Maybe in the bushes below.
Maybe waiting until I go away,
until I stop watching and listening
for the answer to his call.

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