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House Finches | The Nation

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House Finches

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To watch the pair of house finches
that frequent the neighbor's feeder,
I leave the charcoal blinds pulled up.
The berry-splashed chest of the male--

each morning--makes me pause.
He flits away when full, or troubled
by the cat behind the window pane.
But he's back again within the hour.

Evenings, we owe our different debts
to the woman who fills the feeder tray,
who also chooses open blinds
and wanders room to room, past

the long blue light of the aquarium.
(She caught me watching yesterday.)
The fish, from here, are almost still,
a drifting string of colored lights.

Her boyfriend's echoes of her name
reverberate and scare the cat;
bird seed scatters with the flight
of startled finches. Sunflower seeds,

far from the flower they once composed,
lie like black collapsed stars.

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