Consider the (Dreaming) Birds

Jesus told us to consider the birds of the air.
I have pondered parakeets (budgies) in a cage
routinely performing what seems impossible.
No, not flying. (They fly rather poorly.)
It’s the posture they keep as they sleep.
Usually before closing their eyes,
they puff out their colorful feathers,
precariously balance on just one slender leg,
twist their heads halfway around,
and nestle their beaks under the backs of their wings.
How can they do that? Why would they want to?
No human could hold such an improbable pose,
not even in yoga, let alone while dreaming.
I’ve puzzled over those tiny amazing acts
that birds do daily with little thought
and no explanation of their motives to me.

Although I can’t replicate their strange stance,
to those tiny birds, I am godlike.
They periodically chirp loud petitionary prayers
for me to give them this day their daily birdseed.
But omnipotent and omniscient I’m clearly not.
Those winged unlikely wonders mystify me.
Perhaps if I could enter their caged existence
and take on the feathered form of a fellow bird,
they would softly warble their secrets to me,
and I to them.

I treasure miniature miracles in implausible places.
And if a fluff of feathers can perform such wonders,
surely the God of the universe
can go bigger and better,
can fling a star-like light across Bethlehem’s sky,
can create conception in a virgin by divine in vitro,
can take on flesh in our own featherless form,
and can croon to us heavenly dreams.

Copyright 2020 Mark D. Stucky.
Originally published in Small Town Anthology VI: Entries from the Sixth Annual Tournament of Writers (Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center, 2020).

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