It takes a long time to live.

The dove at my feeder folds its wings
like a flower closing,
blossoms in the sky, in flight:
the world knows
only a few ways
to show beauty.

And even though they belong here,
sometimes when I watch birds
they look like they don’t know
where they are going, but they go;
and one, two maybe, just sit still
and go nowhere at all.

Have I forgotten all that?
How rock is my brother,
the sky is my mother?
How once I was a bear?
How I attended school
with my friends the cottonwoods,
with a raven for a teacher?

          It is my turn to sanctify
          in telling, speaking my
          recollection of when the world
          was filled with persons.

I do not know what kind of thing
I am becoming.