I feel foolish, like those silly robins jumping on the ditch boughs when I run by them. Those robins do not have the grand style of the red tailed hawk, no design, no dream, just robins acting stupid. They've never smoked cigarettes, drank whiskey, consumed drugs as I have. In their mindless fluttering about filled with nonsense, they tell me how they love the Great Spirit, scold me not to be self-pitying, to open my life and make this day a bough on a tree leaning over infinity, where eternity flows forward and with day the river runs carrying all that falls in it. Be happy Jimmy, they chirp, Jimmy, be silly, make this day a tree leaning over the river eternity and fuss about in its branches.
From Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Copyright © 2007 by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Reproduced by permission of New Directions.