Red Birds – Poetry by Elisa Affanato

John James Audubon – Plate 159, Cardinal Grosbeak

Cardinals streak the starkest contrast
to the white field behind the house.
And the joy of those red birds
is for whom they return to promise –
they wait where, for you, a place is kept.

Lovely, they will sit all day
in leafless limbs of winter trees –
brilliant harbingers.
If you listen, they will give you
their message with outstretched wings.

About the Poet

Elisa Affanato is an Adjunct Professor of English Composition and Early American Literature. She has also edited Ph.D. candidates’ doctoral dissertations. She lives in Western North Carolina where she writes poetry and enjoys nature.

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