She is a wood warbler
into madness. She
from milky shell earthen brown blotches
not Rorschach not robin but warbler.
Open-mouthed swallow of hard-
chipped notes, calls smothered
her smoke-gray chamber of throat.
Dis/appearing between branches
tail feathers and body dainty clawed toes
white lines half-circle her eyes
sense but can’t see
at the center of night movements
misreads the body
responds on its own.
Copyright © 2019 by Heather Cahoon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 5, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.