Opening Chords


The acoustic guitar’s strumming
is quiet in the cool spring night
and the gentle chords strumming
are warmer than chilled night air.
The acoustic guitar is hesitant,
not like calls of evening birds
who voice their species’ singular songs
and pierce the late light.
The picked out chords,
mistakes and all,
are more like morning chirrups,
when birds, feeling the sudden shift
in darkness that warns of dawn,
begin to tune gently
their songs in receding darkness.

In daylight songbirds flash feathers
and sun rays set their colors aflame,
goldfinch, cardinal, chickadee,
yellow, red, bright black and white.
The goldfinch song especially
dips and glides in a liquid
gold, the glittering notes are gold,
and smooth is the slip and catch
of the finch’s sudden flight.
During the prelude to dawn,
even the brightest finch of day
is only shadow-blue and dun.

The acoustic guitar strumming
in the dark hours of the night
echoes within the tiny skulls
of birds who in dreams rehearse their songs.
The strumming floats through an open window
out on a breeze, into the night.
The chords tickle the branches
and budding leaves and sleeping birds.
In only a few hours,
the birds will rouse themselves and sing,
In only several days,
the buds will escape their sheaths.
The acoustic guitar’s strumming
is soft and warm and light
and major keys and minor keys
change places, modulating
on the breeze.