I was a songbird, one of the kind
whose name I do not know, plain
of plumage but with a melodious,
many-noted song. I was on the deer
bone perch outside the window,
and it seemed I was singing to myself,
inside, that I was watching myself
singing, and that I was hearing
myself singing to the man I was,
as though I were the bird and not the man
I would be when I woke and forgot,
as I always do, and which I did.
Although now I am convinced this is
the true account of myself as a bird
alighted on the perch that is the rib
of a deer, seeming to sing for the man
I would have to be yet again,
when this too would end.
Robert Wrigley has published eleven books of poems, including most recently Box (Penguin, 2017), and in the United Kingdom, The Church of Omnivorous Light: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2013). He is a distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Idaho and lives in the woods, near Moscow, Idaho, in the northern Rocky Mountains, with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes.