Love Taught by the Mockingbirds

by Sarah McLaughlin '23 on February 10, 2023

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Lily pads freeze under winter’s touch

Waiting under ice for spring’s promised thaw

Do they know it will come

And leave just as soon?

Do they know the moon’s glow

Is an illusion of the sun?

Do the black-faced squirrel and the white-tailed deer

Ask why the trees in the middle of the pond

Are stripped bare of their bark?

Do the needles ask why they turn brown

And fall from the height of their pines?

Do the mockingbirds wonder why the wind blows cold

Or why the stars appear in the sky?

Do the stars think about how far they are

From each other, from the reaches of their light?

Do the planets grow lonely with each revolution?

Do they long for their orbits to collide?

I stared at the lily pads and saw myself

Frozen beside them in the ice

I felt the wind crawl up my sleeves

I felt my fingers turn white

I watched the pines sway under the yellow moon

I longed for the Earth to show me the sun

The black-faced squirrel and the white-tailed deer

I tread too close, I saw them run

The beavers made use of the stripped-bare trees

They built the dam which created the pond

They made the home of the lily pads

Where I listen to the mockingbirds’ call

To the stars, perhaps, thanking them for the guide

Through night’s flight, for the planets’ orbits

Which do not collide, and when I hear their song

I think of love, I think of how lucky we are.