Nary a Bird

I had some roses in my yard

They were yellow against the sky

But I’ll no longer give them water

I have let the flowers of my hope to die

Because yellow was the color of the trucks that came

And cleared away the land

And stole the home of the raven

In the name of modern man.


There’s nary a bird in the trees

Who’s not crying for relief

There’s nary a bird in the woods

Who’s not boxed in.

There’s nary a woman nor a man

Who can afford to stand

And watch the bulldozers closing in.


I had neighbors in the forest

The sumac, oak and pine

But there are cranes on the horizon

Where the birch trees formed a broken jagged line

And though I welcome all the children and the families

A come to fill these homes

When they cleared away the forest

They left me all alone.


Sure, I’m smarter than the beaver

I’ve got a paper to protect my claim upon the land

But I’m the last fool in the valley

And that paper’s worthless in my clutching hand

But if I had a million dollars I’d go out and buy

All the land I see

And make it home for the wildwood

Who made a home for me.


If there’s no hedgerow for the red fox

And the goose won’t make her nest along the lake

And the red-tailed hawk won’t fly here

And the white-tailed deer no longer shows its face

And the rabbit cannot find a place to raise her young

And the warbler finds no tree

If there’s no home here for the possum

There can be no home for me.


© 1991 Pamela Cardullo Ortiz