The finch knows mainly one thing:
its joy is full of it, body aquiver
with sensible fears of what today
might slide shadowy over it.
The finch knows to keep each eye
on each side of its world
as it splashes in a roadside puddle
of light and sand and broken water.
The finch knows mainly this one thing.
Its love is full of it. It fills trees
with twisting flight. The finch plays close
to others out of fearful love
and disappears into leafy worlds
when the near wind hisses
like a cruel husband frightening
his latest wife. The finch is loved
for being small, bright, neat, fast.
It knows every seed and spring
in every wrinkle of its fearful songful world.
The finch knows how to live
in joyful fright and fret, knows
every shadow in every corner of its world.
Kevin Brophy’s latest book is Look at the Lake (Puncher & Wattmann). Emeritus professor at Melbourne University, he was poet-in-residence at the BR Whiting Rome Library in 2015.