(A blessing for the last day of the year.)








The finches indulge in sweet gluttony
at the feeders this morning…
their tawny and golden breasts
are puffed up against the freezing air
giving them the appearance of innocence and
soft feathered sea foam against a dazzling blue sky.

But from my spot – barely a yardstick away –
behind the kitchen window, I know
they are not so dainty as their small hearts would have us believe.
Their determined movements
belie the seasoned archer’s purpose as they perch
and pull back the bow strings of arrow-like beaks
to gain prizes of seeds and suet.
This they do before pausing to sing and then
take aim again.

Here is the stuff that survival is built on:
the courage to come out into the world;
the grace to live in humble beauty;
the will to survive, and
the instinct and desire to do it over and over and over –
because that’s how we move forward in time.

martha lee phelps © 2014