Poem: “The Birdhouse”

The Birdhouse

Anna is leaving me again

over and over

Just like I left her so many times

By choice and not by my choice

Teaching me to tolerate longer and longer absences

Stretches of not hearing her voice doing homework with a friend on the phone

Or the sound of popcorn crunching along to a favorite movie

I took her to her first movie when she was eighteen months old

She ate my entire tub of artificially butter flavored popcorn

I felt

Grateful that she didn’t choke,

and awed by her intensity of concentration

She says I love you each time she leaves

And I am trying to photograph her face, her smile

Every time in my mind, afraid of having

so much less to take for granted

I walk outside and I see the birdhouse she made in eighth grade shop class

A father’s day gift for her dad, she looks so much like him

I stare at the birdhouse as a light rain begins to kiss the back of my neck

I am not cold, and I do not feel the wetness of it

I realize that she is forcing me to grow up again,

To accept losing what I want to hang on to

I hate that

That birdhouse sits on the stump

It’s maple stain color intensified by the moisture

And my tears add salt to the raindrops

~Viola Moriarty

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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

Elm Street Market, Bennington

Spiral Press Cafe, Manchester, Vermont (2013) details TBA

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