On Not Knowing My Birds

by Brendan Strong

Again I resolve to learn all their names
Not their “names” like “Eddie” or “Birdie”
But names like “robin” or “crow”.

Names that indicate
natures that indicate
Future behaviour or at least approaches
To unknown situations.

They know my habits as well as I know theirs
Hopping around my sodden garden as I stare
Out the window, drinking coffee.

Wondering what their names are and whether
Knowing their habits better
Might increase my appreciation.

Or just to fill in the blanks – what they do
When they go from here to wherever they go
Like my daughters will do in 10 years or so.

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