By Sydney Lea

Wingbeats at the window
snap me out of the torpor
of my minor springtime sorrow.

A blast of desire, not wholly
carnal, not wholly not,
suddenly overcomes me:

I’m almost 80—and lovestruck.
What can that have to do
with a cardinal’s frenzied attack

on his likeness there in the pane?
Bright bird, I see that you’re jealous
—of what? You’re at it again,

enraged. Small wonder you’re scarlet.
Listen: you’re only alone.
Aloneness. Somehow I feel it.

A small bird’s futile ardor
brings on a premonition.
My love’s in the bedroom, dear reader,

and I picture my world’s perdition.

Sydney Lea is the author of twenty-three books, founding editor of New England Review, a former Pulitzer finalist and Vermont Poet Laureate. In 2021, Lea was awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, his home state’s highest arts distinction.

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