Before the dawn's faint grey had flushed the bush
  and gleamed its hooks and fruits, before the dusk
had snuffed them out and brought its dangers near
  the robins pegged their boundaries out in song.

We heard them call and sing from perch to perch
  and wondered why our house, so blunt and stiff,
without a worm or midge to dart upon,
  should stand within the radius of their care.

That we should share the same small patch of earth,
  yet stay familiar strangers, that they should hear
our coaxing human talk, yet fly from us,
  is as our different pasts and roles ordained.

This listening to another creature's speech,
  our kind or theirs, this care for privacies
that nest inside another's weave of language
  ensures our beings blend, our distance keeps us near.

cape robin

 

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