Andrea Draws an Oriole

Working from photos, old images, skins,
merely suggests how the bird's bill tilts
tasting the flower, how balancing tail turns.

Yet, see how these lovingly sketched lines
kindle the tightening claws to grip bark,
lengthen the fire-feathered wings toward flight
and have burned a gleam into awakening eye
so that this bird seems poised at the twig's end
wanting but breath's touch to embrace the sun.

It is this magic which flickers in limestone caves
deep in Dordogne, where old pictures reflect
the wary, imagining eye of the first true men
peering past skin to grasp empathized prey.

Men who would draw in breath at a photograph.