We went in search of scrub jays.

Vibrant birds –

blue as blue is blue,

likely to perch, to watch,

to trill and warble.

 

Early April – dry and hot,

feeling like the first day of summer.

In shorts and hats we pushed

through sand. We pushed

through scrub.

There was oak,

wild rosemary,

some type of skink

and everything exposed –

open as a secret.

 

Scrub is what I do

to my daughter’s filthy feet.

The word conjures kitchen pots,

soapy sinks,

stains and housework.

Scrub is a habitat.

Scrub is a jay.

 

We met one, shoulder-high,

looking to commune.

We did not reach for cameras;

she left us stunned and still.

Bright feathers. Perfect posture.

White-bellied.

 

High-fives for celebration, his fingers

wove themselves through mine.

I wanted to say:

I see you in every bird.

I wanted to say:

I love you.

 

We went in search of scrub jays

and burned and sweat

and shuffled through the sand.

I don’t know what we found.

 

 


Cari Oleskewicz

Cari Oleskewicz is a poet and writer based in Tampa. Her work has been in The Fourth River, Literary Orphans, Lime Hawk, The Collapsar, Sandhill Review, Blotterature, The Found Poetry Review, PITH, Unlikely Stories, and Five2Ome. She is currently at work on a collection of travel essays and putting together bird poems.