For my dad an opal wasn’t a stone, but an Osprey
Packing A Lunch. “Opal, 2 o’clock,” is something
he might have announced, binoculars raised. TV,
in the everyday slang of his birding culture,
wasn’t television, but short for turkey vulture.
Mo do was a mourning dove—ro do, a pigeon.
On today’s date, in the year he was my age,
he saw a Robin, Crow, Snow Bunting, Starling,
Canvasback, Goldeneye. I turn page after page
of lists in notebooks he penciled sightings in.
Sometimes I read Thoreau the same way. His day
on today’s date. Chronology’s scaffold falls away.
A Savannah Sparrow sings, and I hear seringo—
his word for the bird’s song, still carrying its cargo.
Charles Weld’s poetry has been collected in two chapbooks (Country I Would Settle In, Pudding House, 2004; and Who Cooks For You? Kattywompus Press, 2012) and has been published in many small magazines. A mental health counselor, he lives in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.