He looked so tired after breakfast
says the nurse
we put him back to bed.

She presses a button
and my father
rises toward us.

For something to say
mum remembers
that time you stole apples
from Jimmy Snoddy’s garden!

He smiles at her
slyly. He’s saying

Outside the window
a bullfinch is feasting
on birch buds.

Copyright © 2022 by Ken Cockburn. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 18, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.