The Book of Birds

My son studies the Book of Birds,
a pair of binoculars slung over
his slim frame


wingspan (short, long), tail
(tufted, straight), bodies (speckled, spotted,
vivid, dull).


their sound (whistle, whirl, whimper, coo
chip note, call note, caw)—

his arms falling open
beneath the book’s cover and spine,

eyes working through
the Latin names—

a hungry hatchling looking the part
of Tringa semipalmata,
beak pressed into

a freshwater fog,
gold hair feathered over an ear then
curved along his jawline, merging with
his throat.

He moves
into the marsh grass and mist,
adapting its sinew and strength.

Last updated November 14, 2022