Bird Bareback on a Horse, Route 413 by Bernadette McBride

Bird Bareback on a Horse, Route 413

Usually slow as February, this one-lane road lets us
clip along today as if it doesn’t want to give any notice
to the soft haze of early May, the scent of newborn grass

as potent as it ever was when school terms wound down,
spring jackets came unstored and adolescence bore
mysterious urgings. A farmer rocks in his high John Deere

as his horses trot from the electric fence and we take turns
at a four-way stop. A young robin lights on a grazing
palamino’s back, rides easy as the horse sways and bows

to a buttercup breakfast; senses it’s safe here
the way once, as we watched the morning sky, a swallow
hopped to the welcoming twig of your index finger,

twitched its feathered head and lingered, scouting for kin,
just as if the laws of Eden were still intact.

by Bernadette McBride

Editor’s Note: For those of us who live in the rolling, verdant farms of Pennsylvania, this poem resonates with its quiet, beautiful imagery.