WHISTLE A BIRD

The grass was mowed, the yard was raked,
The burn pile steamed in the sun.
I leaned back in the patio chair, shoes off,
Glad the chore was done.

As I sat there gratefully sipping
From my quart-size glass of tea,
My granddaughter came out of the house,
And climbed up in the chair with me.

"Whatcha doin, Granpa? Are you all through?
Can I have some of your tea?
It's hot out here...there's a hole in your sock...
Will you whistle a bird for me?"

When I was her age (Lord, that's been a while),
My Papa used to whistle up quail
With the prettiest call you ever heard
And, they came every time without fail.

I'd practiced enough while growing up
That I could call birds into the yard.
The child liked to see them up close,
Though keeping her quiet was hard.

I'd placed the Hummingbird feeder
By the door, so when evening come
The child could set and watch them feed
And hear their wings a-hum.

In my lap the young child nestled
Awed by the wonder of it all,
Then she turned her face to me and asked:
"Why don't the Hummingbirds fall?"

Children's questions deserve a response,
Though the answer may not easily come.
What could I say when she asked me:
"Granpa, where does the wind come from?"

I'd told her, once, why the grass was green,
And it almost wore me down.
By the time I had finished explaining,
The grass had all turned brown!

I do not know where the wind begins,
Or how Hummingbirds suspend.
If grass were red and stones could fly,
Would it matter, in the end?

One thing of which I am certain,
And the truth can't be defiled.
I know not whence the wind comes, but
I know why God made a child.

copyright 1992 Sam Elmore