Dances on the Edge


A Hooded Robin
dances on the edge
of the tree’s dead wood.
Dances on the edge of extinction.

But what does a bird know
of extinction? This bird
knows sunshine
and fat black gnats;
he knows flaking bark
and yellow grasses,
drying in the wind.

This bird knows
soft autumn rains
and sticky cobweb;
he knows a hollow that is
perfect for a nest

and each morning, he sings
in the light of false dawn.

He sings enticement,
he calls, come to me,
he sings and sings
but he dances alone
on the edge.

© Judie Peet, 1960-2004

Photo by Peter Jacobs, Australia (CC)