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Young, George, 1938- / Bird of paradise: poetry
(2011)

To a blue-throated hummingbird,   p. 13


Page 13

To A Blue-throated Hummingbird
(for Sheri Williamson)
Galvanic bird, gorget of blue,
you sit quietly in the palm of her hand.
Once, skins of your kind were shipped to Europe
to decorate hats,
were dried and sold in Mexico
for their magical powers.
But today you were caught alive
in the remote-controlled
drop-net
that encircles her feeder. And she has put
a tiny bracelet on your foot.
She's tall, with long brown hair
hanging in a single braid down her back, talking rapidly
to us, her students,
about iridescence,
about how the granules in the feathers of your throat
are like the droplets of mist in a rainbow.
She wrote the book on you.
"Blue-throats aren't like the others," she says.
"When you let them go
they like to sit in your palm for awhile."
So we all wait, staring at
your dark needle, your glittering black eyes
for you to fly.
13


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