to be tossed at summer's end.
And year after year they remain
never migrating with the duck whirligig
or hummingbird chime to the trash
at the end of the driveway.
I watch the flamingoes:
One teeters slightly in the wind,
a dome of snow on its head;
the other's neck, bleached gray, snakes downward,
its beak sifts through slush.
Somewhere in Florida,
flamingoes skim warm water,
now and again, tuck one leg,
preen a voluminous, rose-colored wing;
their yellow eyes like suns.
My steadfast birds
don't hear trade winds in palms,
won't fly into a balmy night,
water trailing their feet like jewels.
They accept the snow,
listening to the hush
as it falls on pine boughs, flagstones,
their cool, unruffled feathers.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society