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  • Writer's pictureKate Godin

Sri Chickadee

Can a black-capped chickadee

be tentative in his call,

hanging back, half in,

afraid of not mattering?

Does his sweet, springtime song

get stuck in the muscular pouch

of his throat for fear of

not being heard?


Mask pulled up to his beak,

he delivers a crisp one-two punch

that always lands,

taking me out of my head

and into the branches

every time.

This stealthy guru,

joyful in his robes of fluff,

teaches me to sing

until my music finds

ears that hear it—

including my own—

opening to catch

a sovereign song,

life humming through me

as me.

Sri Chickadee tells me

to take the hand

from over my mouth,

put it on my heart

and honor fully

the strange, singular duet

that gathers in my throat.

He says, Shout it, sing it, share it.

Make the offering

that is yours to make.

When it’s clear and true,

free of fear or agenda,

it can’t help but be

the song of everything.


Photo by Bryan Hanson

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