Credo for a Pandemic

Animal avian beak bird

I believe that the house finch –
orange cap and breast lifted
each morning to call to its mate
in the fir tree – holds for safekeeping
my memory of love.

I believe in walking
around the marshy lake
of Loring Park in the evening
and watching, week by week,
the goslings grow.

I believe in the red epaulettes
flashing on the wings
of blackbirds; in their
sharp check notes
descending with the sun –

in not counting the ways
to look at them. In not counting
points to redemption
in order to fly home or
to be delivered from sin.

I believe in the salvation
of armies converting
swords into plowshares;
in the sanctification of
noticing what is.

And if I once thought
that human beings
were the only creatures
who could give and receive
forgiveness –

Believe me, my friend,
I am thinking this over again.


Poem by Paula Reed Nancarrow.

Paula Reed Nancarrow is a poet and storyteller living in Minneapolis who has performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and at the Moth Grand Slam at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. She has poems published or forthcoming in bluepepper and Neologism Poetry Journal, and a (currently neglected) blog which includes text versions of some performed stories at