Yesterday’s Blue Jay
By: Alexander Schell
In the bitter Northeast winters
which made boys into men,
a blue jay often floated above
The buried tulip bulbs in Jenny’s garden.
His whispered song
Withered with the fig tree’s branches,
And by February’s chilled winds
he spoke no more.
I sat with him in solidarity
one afternoon, both of us
searching for a lost sensation, or
a sunny day to break up the season’s snow.
I told him stories to pass the time
until supper. I asked just one silly question:
“How long does a blue jay live?”
“no more than a day.”
And each day, a new jay came
to watch me play games and grow
out of them. One sliver, one chapter,
knowing that he would never read the rest.
The years flew by. On my last day
in the garden, a new bird greeted me,
puffing his chest for breath but
smiling down proudly.
This one’s feathers were whitening.
Like the first, he whispered a song.
I wonder what the words meant.
“Even a day goes by eventually.”