But I am an amateur
among these bird-cries & must train—
not in what the chicken sexer knows as expertise
& the priest might call discernment.
I only begin to learn to name
the motions of the redbreast nuthatch
who nested in the bittersweet all winter
grey-bellied, native to this cold.
How few words I know
to weave out in the air, to call a world
I move in as a passer-through, a migrant.
In the tangled orchard I learn how
in the 19th century, the farm next door
raised apples bred to last in cellar keeps.
Its space echoes when I call: Who keeps
a cellar now? We engineer
food for refrigerators.
Unpacked & waxy in the store
it comes from someplace far off as my call
And I now must learn by outside books to map
my fertile days, to plot myself
I am half surprised and half afraid
to try my body’s inner chambers out—