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House finch in summer

A poem.

Through my office window,
I watched it for several hours
darting from its perch in the holly tree,
and then, within minutes, returning.

The tree stood just a few feet
from the doors of the art museum.
Each time a door was opened,
a blast of air-conditioned air
rushed out, ruffling the ruby

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plumage of its head and breast.
It just closed its eyes,
braced itself on its branch,
and froze. All day long it did this,
never tiring of its antics,

as if relishing the air
redolent and tumescent
with the oils of the masters;
laden with the bated,
exhaled breath of astonishment.


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