To a Goldfinch in April

Not much here but this blank beginning, bird,
this one low unholy day

and still you sing. Or thus you do.
You’d have swooned and swooped

to see the aerial dance troupe’s show,
its earnest slow enactment

of hooey, all winches and pulleys
and plummets arrested, reversed, gone

suddenly sunward, and wide yellow dresses
awhirl—a delirium of daffodils—

and man-sized hanging canvas bags
that dancers, elbows first, wriggled out of.

That cloud slouching by: it blackened
the ballfield one noon when I was seven.

That peony. Again it’s here. The eternal
present—who’d dance into that and vanish,

without a mind to forgive or recant with?
Trill, finch, if you want, of the chill

invisible wind you’re in. I’m going
to slather something on yesterday’s bread,

swirl a dead year’s wine in a glass. I’m going
to place a fountain in every memory.

Chris Forhan is the author of three books of poetry and a memoir. He has won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes and has earned a “Discover Great New Writers” selection from Barnes and Noble. He lives with his wife, the poet Alessandra Lynch, and their two sons, Milo and Oliver, in Indianapolis, where he teaches at Butler University. For more:

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