Scherer’s Pond

by Melanie Carter

Winged thought. Wish made tangible.
Yes, the towhee is God’s musing

cast to ether. It drops to the ground
in its black hood, then stutters

backward, scratching the leaves,
distracting the strangers it startled

out of their deft silence. As in: Do you see
the bird that could be anyone’s fate

hurled skyward? And if so, where is the one
whose chest has opened like heaven’s

twin doors? Who built within him
the two wings and the rusted flanks,

bare and ringing? A birder would look
for the mate. Its dull nest. But not the boy

who, if he knew the word sanctuary
would say, Where? to the sparrow

that wears its breast like an iron plate. Surely
a bird is heaven’s closer god and would listen:

these clouds, these nodding trees,
and floating, still, in the pond below, the boy

in his striped shirt, whistling.