Can I do without your call? Making arrangements to survive, To ignore the rest of strife, freely given. Can I do without your song? The snow arrived unasked, unsummoned, With the feeders empty and promises, also. Can I do without your cheer? Here in the gray land of between, Where the silver bells of registers Ring the advent of poverty, competition, Fool hardy expectations of man, not beast. Here I find you, still cheerful, still singing, Your small talons grasping at the dirt, Looking for that last pillbug, that last seed. Your flock only humors me, As the camera whirls, clicks, spits and spats, leaving talon prints as they settle for the night in snow. They wait, they linger until sure That the warmth of yesterday is gone And the time to fly free and warm has arrived. I cannot live without your song, Your calling out of peace and forgiveness All for the price of a seed or two. I cannot live without the holly trees, The magnolias that decorate with red seeds, The pines silent except between creaks of wind. I need your cheer of simplicity.