Sister Mary Appassionata To The Ornithology Class

Birds can be a mortal danger.
If you doubt me walk around downtown
under cooing skyscrapers, brooding statues
and look up. Gulls and crows learn
from parents how to drop whelks
on jagged rocks to shatter their shells.
Aeschylus was slain in a most dramatic fashion
as the oracle foretold when an eagle
mistook his bald head for a stone
glittering along the beach and let fly
from Olympian heights a giant tortoise egg.
Yet, angel-like, birds can mean us
good as well. Holy spirits flitting
from oaks to oak above our heads
each dawn, plumage flashing bright
as starfire, their songs, if we’ve
the ears to hear, can teach us
how beautifully words can be made to mean
when we speak the truth, say again and again
our names to wind, every dream
a flight to love, our purest art
the eloquence of human tongues.

Image result for david citino

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, David Citino earned a BA from Ohio University and PhD from the Ohio State University. His ten poetry collections include The Discipline: New and Selected Poems, 1980–1992 (1992), Broken Symmetry (1997), The News and Other Poems (2002), The Appassionata Poems (1983), and A History of Hands (2006).