Cedar Waxwing


By Karen McPherson

It’s not at first the wing. Just a startling
yellow hem on the tail

almost not seen against rocks
sun-deep in current, till flick!

a golden banding as if to illuminate
an intricate initial. Moments later

tawny silks, jet masquerade, unassuming
crest. Still of the wing only a

gentleman’s gloved hands
folded, demure. And that drop

of scarlet wax? I never do see it. Though now
they are two, feasting in the huckleberry.

Now in the morning glory vine now
among the cedars swift away. 


Poet and translator Karen McPherson is the author of two books of poetry: Skein of Light (Airlie Press, 2014) and Sketching Elise (Finishing Line, 2012). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals including Beloit Poetry JournalDescantCider Press Review, Zoland, and Potomac Review. Her website is kmcphersonpoet.com.

Photo credit: Eden Parker

Photo credit: Eden Parker