Friday Poem

The Sound of Birds at Noon

This chirping
is not the least malicious.
They sing without giving us a thought
and they are as many
as the seed of Abraham.
They have a life of their own,
they fly without thinking.
Some are rare, some are common,
but every wing is grace.
Their hearts aren’t heavy
even when they peck at a worm.
Perhaps they’re light-headed.
The heavens were given to them
to rule over day and night
and when they touch a branch,
the branch is theirs.
This chirping is entirely free of malice.
Over the years
it even seems to have
a note of compassion.

by Dahlia Ravikovitch
Contemporary World Poetry
Vintage Books, 1996
translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch and Ariel Bloch