Cardinal

Buildings fold like paper in the wind
she couldn’t take her hands
out of her pockets.

The stone tiles under her feet
made a bigger picture out of the pavilion.
It was a symbol for directional awareness,
a star that pointed every which way possible.

She saw a nervous cardinal
hopping in the snow, piled past
the edges of the pavement.

She knew it was afraid about
finding enough, but she carried
nothing with her she could offer.

She could tell it hadn’t been sleeping
by the way it kept on tearing through the snow.
The bird covered the same ground
until it woke up to the truth,
that nothing could be done
to stop the winter.

Another nest of frozen birds who never
learned to fly and two lovers
who never knew what they were doing.

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