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Bird on a Fence

06.18.20 Posted in today's words by

Simon Fleischer’s most recent poem to appear here was “During a Pandemic” (April 2020).

Bird on a Fence
By Simon Fleischer

Today my wife suggested
that the red breasted bird
sitting perched on our fence,
because it arrived each morning
when she prepared to daven*,
was my father risen from the dead,
returned to offer us his wisdom
in this time of general woe.

Somehow still and startled at once,
its head flickering like a tiny flame—
I guess it might be my dad.
I can’t exactly say it’s not my dad.

So this bird, prophet-like,
comes bearing a message
with which my departed dad
would have heartily agreed:
In this time of general woe,
when consolation’s feather-thin
and all too apt to fly away
at the snap of a prayer book
or even a softly offered “amen,”
believe what you want to believe,
now for certain, but forever too. Amen.

* Yiddish for pray

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