I hear the birds softly sing on the outskirts of the square
children have given them reason to become neighbors
handmade houses filled with seeds
beckoning the arrival of this menagerie
the winged activity of the blue jays
the cardinals, the onslaught of humble sparrows
I seldom remember to think outside my quiet chaos
beyond my awareness lies the hidden
secrets invisible to suspicious eyes
how much all of us can see
how much all of us can understand if given the choice
children—build for us
families and birdhouses and roofs above our heads
food on our tables
then show us where we hide.


8 thoughts on “Birdhouses

  1. JC says:

    This is so lovely. There is a blackbird I named Poe building a nest in the rafters on my porch. I guess I act enough of a child that my porch was inviting to him… Thx.

  2. 5h2o says:

    Kate, I really, really like this. You know, we don’t often pause to consider what we learn from others in this sweeping, deep kind of way. And you have gathered that learning so poignantly. Nice, so nice.

    • Kate Houck says:

      I’m humbled by the comment. Yes, our inner thoughts cannot flourish without taking time to absorb what the world around us can give. Thanks, sincere thanks 🙂

  3. sanberdooboy says:

    oh, kate, what a wonderful poem. the imagery is effective as is the meditation on the meaning of what you have noticed. and then the plea to children to “show us where we hide” is such an insightful line that produces a strong closure.

    • Kate Houck says:

      Children have a great deal of insight and vision into things I think are hidden to adults or rather become hidden. We truly need children to bring us back to ourselves. Thanks for your kindness!

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