Which Bird? - Donna Emerson

Today we are osprey.
Big, strong birds who form a partnership,
build a home, and raise their young.
After that they separate for years,
then join together for another clutch of eggs.
Their romance strictly around
house and offspring.

As strong as raptors are, I want to be a cardinal,
who mates for life and provides color
in winter or summer.
Romantic birds, attending to one another.
Living together, singing yellow and red duets in the maple tree.
Flying separately yet wing near wing.

Donna Emerson is a poet of both coasts and also in between.  Her childhood was in the Midwest and East coast, her university and graduate school training in California.

In retirement, she divides her time between her home in northern California, (near osprey!) where she lives with her husband and four cats, near her first son and his family, and her grandmother’s homestead in western New York to enjoy seasons, beloved birds such as the cardinal, and her younger children. A few years ago, they tapped their sugar maples to make maple syrup, following family tradition.

Donna has written all her life, began sending poems for publication in 2004. She usually writes in free verse, but also loves the prose poem, sonnet, villanelle. She has won awards for her lyric and narrative poetry, as well as her prose. Her third full-length collection of poems, Daphne Lifts Up, is forthcoming, in August, 2024. See more of her work at donnaemerson.com.