While walking this morning
along the edge of the little wood that
borders the vineyard, a hoopoe
flew straight and low across my path.
There is so much to love about this bird.
A more sociable creature might be tempted
to loiter and flaunt the gift of its garb,
but not the hoopoe. It offers
just enough of itself for us to savour,
and leaves us hopeful of another sighting soon.
Another sighting of that crest
which gives it the look of a youth
still full of fire and belief,
her hopes not yet extinguished
by experience and disappointment.
Another sighting of those two-tone wings,
opened with all the poise
of an Andalusian señora
on a warm summer’s night.
Another chance to utter
its perfect scientific name,
words that smack against the lips
like a cold beer
on a warm summer’s day.
Words like a miniature song
filling the chamber of the mouth