Goldfinches by Mary Oliver
Some goldfinches were having a melodious argument
at the edge of a puddle. The birds wanted to bathe, or
perhaps just to dip their heads and look at themselves,
and they were having trouble with who should be
first, and so on. So they discussed it while I stood in
the distance, listening. Perhaps in Tibet, in the old
holy places, they also have such fragile bells. Or are
these birds really just that, bells come to us--come to
this road in America--let us bow our heads and
remember now how we used to do it, say a prayer.
Meanwhile the birds bathe and splash and have a
good time. Then they fly off, their dark wings opening
from their bright, yellow bodies; their tiny feet,
all washed, clasping the air.