Look, It's a Hummingbird!
Betsy Holleman Burke
Like the child who misses
the shooting star, I missed
the flash in the fuchsia lantana
my children's excited cries.
In the blink of an eye he was gone
but it simply wasn't possible,
hummingbirds were never here
they lived with us in Kiawah.
Sinking into a terrace chair I studied
the dozens of white butterflies
in the flowering chives, the pungent
oregano spilling over the stone wall,
tried to smile as friends
sought the right words
the funny stories to ease my pain,
make sense of your death.
I think of your hummer passion.
see you filling their feeders
with red sugar water
before you unpacked the hot car,
laughing your great laugh
from the Pawley's hammock
as they fought over the feeders,
chased other birds,
in and out of the Spanish moss,
fine silver hairnets draping the Live Oak.
You are besotted, I said,
just like them - beautiful, elusive
they need the next sugar high,
you need the next big case.
You want a heart that can beat
a hundred times a minute
to cross the Gulf of Mexico