Well-Attended by Richard Meyer

Well-Attended

After the funeral they stop by
the house for lunch, an open buffet
for backyard feeders: mourning doves,
black-capped chickadees, goldfinches,
grosbeaks, nuthatches.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sparrows belly up
to the birdbath, make room
for a stray starling on the rim.
Grackles pace the green lawn
like dark-suited ushers.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A cardinal
pulses red on a bent pine limb, drops in
like a blood clot, calls out
what-cheer, what-cheer cheer cheer
gertie gertie gertie
as if you were here, behind that gray screen,
whistling in your chair on the sunlit porch.

by Richard Meyer, first published in Able Muse.

Editor’s Note: Some people say that a cardinal in the yard is a sign that a dead loved one is visiting. This poem uses many birds to show the loss that grief creates.

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