Posts Tagged ‘cardinal’

Do you believe in signs? Rainbows, red birds, messages from our loved ones? I’ve been looking for a sign from my father. Some people say I’m trying too hard. On Tuesday, my brother, his wife, and I were touring assisted living facilities for my mother. She has Alzheimer’s and is living in an independent living facility. It’s getting harder to find good caretakers who understand the disease. Kara, my sister-in-law, told me when we pulled into one of the places we were touring, there was a red bird above the parking lot sign that read, “For future residents.” Whether it was a sign or a coincidence, we don’t know. But humans will human, and we believe Dad was letting us know we were doing the right thing.

I wrote a Golden Shovel using the striking line from Rita Dove’s Canary, “If you can’t be free, be a mystery.”

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We had a cold front pass through the night. The air became damp and cold. As I arrived home from a rather blustery carpool line, I stopped short of the carport because something bright red caught my eye. Was it because of the cold that the cardinal, fluffed up and still, stayed at the feeder? I quickly rolled the window down and shot a picture. Some people believe the red bird is the sign of a loved one who has passed. Monday was the 18th anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. My mother-in-law reminded me. I’m sad to think I forgot. Maybe the cardinal was his way of saying it was OK.

Cardinal at the Feeder, photo by Margaret Simon

The red bird waits,
wonders how to be light
on a dark afternoon–

I whisper,
just stay.

Margaret Simon, draft

I will be traveling today to Los Angeles for the NCTE conference. Will I see you there? Please leave a small poem in the comments and support others with encouraging words.

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