As you age there’s a chance they’ll say He’s gone to the
dogs (ruined) or He’s gone to the birds (worthless). Both
sound rather ageist to me but what do I know at my age.
In my case its literal for while dogs may be in my future
for the present I’m flush with birds—bluebirds more of
a faded denim, lushly breasted robins, Poe-ish ravens,
red-headed woodpeckers, and my father’s favorite cardinals.
The pigtailed little girl shook the Ash Wednesday bells
three different times on cue as the priest waved his smooth
hands over the brazen chalice and while the ringing rang
rich it cannot hold a candle to the rousing chorus in feathery
robes these days outside my clear-paned windows. Birds—
devil-may-cares coming in on a wing and a prayer neither
sowing or reaping, assuming God (or now me) will feed them.