“On a Cape May Warbler Who Flew Against My Window” by Eamon Grennan
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
On a Cape May Warbler Who Flew Against My Window
She's stopped in her southern tracks Brought haply to this hard knock When she shoots from the tall spruce And snaps her neck on the glass. From the fall grass I gather her And give her to my silent children Who give her a decent burial Under the dogwood in the garden. They lay their gifts in the grave: Matches, a clothes-peg, a coin; Fire paper for her, sprinkle her With water, fold earth over her. She is out of her element forever Who was air's high-spirited daughter; What guardian wings can I conjure Over my own young, their migrations? The children retreat indoors. Shadows flicker in the tall spruce. Small birds flicker like shadows — Ghosts come nest in my branches.
from What Light There Is and Other Poems, 1988
North Point Press
Copyright 1988 by Eamon Grennan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of North Point Press from What Light There Is and Other Poems. Copyright 1988 by Eamon Grennan. For further permissions information, contact Eamon Grennan, Vassar College, Department of English, fax 845-437-7578.
About the Poet
Eamon Grennan (1941- ) is the author of over ten poetry collections, including But the Body (Gallery Books, 2012). Grennan was born in Dublin and attended boarding school at a Cistercian monastery.
Learn more about Eamon Grennan at The Poetry Foundation.