You look out the classroom window, in a tree are many, and they tilt their heads (not always at you, but you imagine so). You're nine years old. You write something about the birds that rhymes because the teacher has just taught you to rhyme, and rhyming is physically, tonguefully, fun. You bring it home and it goes on a wall, or into a scrapbook, or into a box, or it just disappears.
Birds are always showing in my poems, so much so that I had to do a moratorium on birds. When my friend Karla Kelsey wrote the stunningly beautiful and philosophical Knowledge, Forms, the Aviary (Ahsahta, 2006), I remembered the desire to write of birdness.