The dark-eyed junco trills from a spruce tip-top
and although I’m quite aware of the folly
of laying our emotions on animals
I am sorely tempted to say he sings his heart out or
even that he sings to thank me for my kindness
of yesterday when I released a junco—maybe this junco—
from where he fluttered in my toolshed
against the window panes.
I doubt if the junco gave thought to why he couldn’t
pass through the invisible force separating him
from freedom or that he waxed philosophically
about his rescue, the gentle hands cupping him,
carrying him to the doorway and releasing
him into the very air denied him by the glass.
But if he had, he would surely have realized
that I could just as well been a cat.
• Richard Stokes, a Juneau resident since 1971, writes about nature, which he loves, and aging, which he is doing.