A March Morning

I fill the winter feeder
with sunflower seeds, corn,
orange rind — then
watch from the window
A Cardinal is the first to come;
I see his masked face
in the bare honeysuckle
his wind-swept pompadour
makes me laugh.

This is his cameo appearance,
he peck-pecks then lifts his head
as intense as a sommelier
until he notices me, levitates
aims for the thicket and is gone.

I take up my binoculars
point and focus into the tree line,
look for his feet of pink twine
listen for his minor key—
Instead I hear sweeter songs
a warble, trill-tweet.
I spy browns, a pleasant blue
the dusty near hue of —
dogwood and bayberry.

All else that comes in red
is never so red as he.
I’ll give him that much
his rightful delineation.

By Gloria Nixon-John

Gloria has published poetry, fiction, essays, pedagogical articles and chapters in small and mainstream presses including Apogee, Clover, Dunes Review, English Journal, Panoply, River Teeth, Wanderlust Journal, A3 Maps and Literature, Bangalore, to name a few. Her novel, The Killing Jar, the story of one of the youngest Americans to serve on death row, was published in 2012 and her Memoir, Learning From Lady Chatterley, written in narrative verse, was published in 2015. Her poetry chapbook, Breathe me a Sky, was published in 2019 by The Moonstone Art Center. Gloria lives with her horses, dogs, cats and husband, Mike in Oxford, Michigan where they are also visited by abundant wildlife. In her free time, she likes to visit flea markets and garage sales where she enjoys talking with strangers.