Beautiful Bird

Beautiful Bird by Greg Powell for Jonathan

(for my son, Jonathan, on his 15th birthday)

pretty bird pecks
orange beak on window.
he’s made home in habitat,
freedom of outside bushes.
but he pecks against glass,
collides with window over
and over trying to break
in. you open the window,
invite bird to peck through
screen/ break into little room.
fear drives little bird
away only to return
to window pecking, pecking
away. you too, my son
have wings. I see them
straining against gravity
by force of your will to fly.
to launch. to propel to soar.
I do not want this
pretty little bird to be you,
pecking at windows, fleeing
freedom of your destiny,
fearfully desperate to enter
little rooms not your own,
or even settle for little bush
not your own. you have wings.
you have budding to be
big bold wings. you got
talons curved/ beak of air-
ruler. with loving sadness
we who birthed and nested you
stir you to attempt the sky.
our love is air hardened to wind
demanding your wings flap.
they are greater than little
room and trifling bush.
wider than the world
given you. more powerful than
you know. strengthening
for release into the heavens.
you shall know your peace
your power your poise your wind-
borne purpose, your will
to cease falling, mind surveying
earth, soul to the sun.
claws and talons sharpened
to reign your domain.
you will know to grasp
and claim the wind and
fly, beautiful bird.
you will know to fly


for another poem about Jon, read "Jon's Song."