Sometimes a poem starts in my belly,
moves up to my heart and stays awhile –
then on to my throat,
and up and out of my mouth.

Like some newborn bird
the first words come,
and the others follow,
imprinted, following the mother hen.

Jostling, flustering feathers,
a pell-mell tumbling,
a quieting.
And then a pattern emerges.

Then quieter still,
a rustling, murmuring silence.

Then I sit down with my birdwords
and look at them.
And they gaze back,
We are then,