Hallejuleh

Behind a building in Burlington along Lake Champlain, with a ripe scent of eau de sewage, what did I hear in a nearby maple tree? Singing blackbirds!

I tossed my laptop and coat in my Toyota, covering the windshield scraper on the carseat, and walked along the icy and slushy parking. In the late afternoon, I stood beneath that tree. In the tree’s tiptop bare branches, the blackbirds gazed out at the lake, busily harmonizing.

A woman walked by with her down jacket zipped to her knees, hood tight over her head, walking a dog in a sweater. Time to unzip, let in a little sunshine, live a little.

Until the next ice storm.

“Mockingbirds” by Mary Oliver

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.

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