Dawn McGuire

Listen to the birds.

This is all I have to say,
my heartbroken friend.
Not that you speak the language.
There is no language that makes sense
of living then dying.
My son says my hand becomes
a bear’s paw batting the air when
I’m emphatic. It’s the hand
of my father, hand of the seven
passions, limbic annotator
of this life’s force as it yields, 
to words.

                      At holiday table, 
the old engineer says, “If I didn’t make things 
that make noise, I’d disappear.” 
The composer says, “I am my noise.”  
At dawn, birds awaken me
with their tonic whistles and tics. 
We are not separate.
My father as he batted away
his last air said, “Don’t be afraid.”