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I know your magic, bluebird


I know your magic, bluebird—that vanishing act you swing,

When leaves are down, the fields brown, and winter’s nearing

Has sent away the flocks sent back in spring;

And you’re no more heard nor seen, disappearing

With those departing (though maybe with a wink),

So when drifts are deep, the woods asleep in icy chill,

You well could have followed the bobolink

To Bolivia, or the tanager Brazil—

If you could read our weather reports

And travel north at incredible speed,

For whenever winter is out of sorts

On a balmy day when icicles bleed

And the snow-blanket tatters—then, bluebird,

You are back in the orchard, in a wandering flock of five or so,

And your summertime carol can even be heard,

And your blue is so blue, against the wet snow.

A Michigan blizzard: that’s promised to follow,

And then like magic you’ll vanish again

(By piling into your secret tree hollow,

Your whole little flock like the Hubbard children,

To warmly dream through all the savage weather),

But when icicles drip and plummet and splinter

You rejoin the snowbirds in fiery blue feather,

Like the flame that had softened the ice-heart of winter;

And though your magic I know, I also know how

When I spy you—so blue—on some barren bough,

There is still surprise, and there is always elation:

Ah, bluebird in winter—You're pure revelation.

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