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Clay Road

poetry of Emily Isaacson

Black-capped Chickadee by Emily Isaacson

In the bitterest winter, there is a black-capped song:
chickadee-dee-dee calls the small bird,
there is no place in Canada it cannot be heard;
a two-tone melodic, she is constant at the bird feeder,
prized in her bravado toward other birds, she is a stalwart leader.
Unselfconscious now, sing along!

Her mighty heart flies on wing to a waiting child,
her impeccable attire is gray with a black crown.
Both the urban store, or the rural cache feed her,
to a tent, cottage, or castle she is a dependable regular.
This rock-star is dressed up for every occasion on the town—
her spring-time gaze is lucid not mild.

In the fall, I am transported to home
as I meet the chickadee-dee-dee in every province,
she fluffs out her feathers, a Canadian diamond quilt ever since
song represented Canada, from the cheerful and charming,
to her spirited patriot, still unassuming,
with a kindred eye for her brethren, she is never alone.


 from Hallmark: Canada's 150 Year Anniversary