In the fall of 1803, American Naturalist John James Audubon wondered whether migrating birds returned to the same place each year. So he tied a string around the leg of a bird before it flew south. The following spring, Audubon saw the bird had indeed come back.
A poem I wrote for Bridget's poetry group. Thank you, Linda, for your comments!
by Tabatha Yeatts
Sweeping long hair
into a dustpan after a haircut,
I notice I'm wearing a blue plastic ring
on my right hand,
banded like a migratory bird.
Where did it come from, this tag?
What did it mark before?
My movements are far
than this band.
I think of my daughter's preschool teacher
who migrated here from Colombia, and her hand,
which she would raise above her head as she said,
"I am holding you here"
to students needing to wait their turn.
October is holding me here,
accompanied by the gourds
assembled on my stoop
like a family sitting for a portrait,
and the bright maple leaves
strewn around my mailbox
that I attempt to turn into a bouquet,
and the scarecrow
in my neighbor's yard
who makes me do a double-take again.
Fixed in place,
I take off the band.
There's a hint of chill outside.
I settle deeper, forget flight.
This poem was inspired by a true incident. I wasn't sure how this ended up on my hand:
Tracking Birds' Migration Paths Online, Audubon.org
Animal Migrations Track with Wikipedia Searches, Scientific American
Want to send a poem and receive a poem? Join the one-time Holiday Poem Swap! We also send gifts with the poems. (It's been known as the Winter Poem Swap, but it's summer in Australia.) Please email me (tabatha (at) tabathayeatts (dot) com) if you want in or have questions.
Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!