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Cerulean Warbler


And if the cerulean warbler is not in our will,

It was always feathered for heaven, that most sublime bird,

Ever-less heard and near-never seen in its hurry of one

With no tomorrow in the treetops streaming with sun.

When as if by a call from above it is stirred,

We hear the surge of its spiraling trill.

In its crown and its wingbars of coal

And its fairweather whiteness of cloud

And a misting of blue that seeps from its soul,

It is the last of a kind, and unbowed.

Our ruinous indifference and furious change

Dwindle its numbers in its moth-eaten range.


Should there come a betrayal it cannot outlive—

Some ultimate trespass it must not forgive,

It will heed that supernal call

To be one with the blue above all.

So its Lenten memento of blue

And the rushing ascent of its song

Had foretold its fate all the long,

And without a bidding adieu

It soars to the heavens on high—

Our fall from grace and its last sojourn:

Remember bird that you are sky,

And unto sky you shall return.

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