Their Voices Are Gone
First to go was the Bobwhite.
I heard it all summer when first I moved to this town.
Bob-Bob WHITE! Bob-Bob WHITE!
How it made my heart glad to hear it. Then it was gone.
There was a meadow where I loved to wander in the morning.
In early May a meadow lark would sing its haunting song.
Spring of the earth. Spring of the earth.
How it made my heart leap to hear it. Then it was gone.
In those same fields before they were mown each summer,
Bobolinks balanced on the slender reeds of grass.
Impossible to put their rollicking songs to words.
Their joyful voices bubbled like water tumbling in a brook.
How it made my heart soar to hear it. Then they were gone.
So often when someone we love leaves us or dies,
their voices are the first to slip away from our minds.
We may recall their smile or their eyes,
or the way the sun gleamed in their hair
but the actual sound of their voice eludes us
no matter how hard we try to keep it alive.
But those sweet birds.
Their voices still live in my memory.
I keep them there, although it sometimes hurts to do so.
We must not forget what we have loved, even when it is gone.
This poem was difficult to write because I do so much miss the songs of these sweet birds that have disappeared because habitat loss in my town.
But no poem in their honor and memory can compare with the beauty of their voices.
Please take a moment or two to this listen to their sweet songs: