Living on Earth
Desperate for a drink
this dry winter,
an unlikely amalgam of birds
clusters on the birdbath's rim.
A flicker pecks briskly
at frozen water. The black grin
of feathers across his chest
disappears and reappears
as his head bends and lifts,
bends and lifts.
The other birds are wary of his bill.
House finches and towhees,
juncos and sparrows,
even a bright goldfinch,
wait their chance, do not fly away.
They say the ever-expanding universe
of a marble-sized bit of matter
in a trillion trillionth of a second.
From that unimaginable moment
to this rich speck
of struggling abundance—
what are the impossible odds
that I should be here as witness?