The woman thought of herself as drab,
empty space shaped
by objects around her, dwelt
inside the dove’s five note aria, deserving
of its melancholy until

one day she focused her gaze
on a female cardinal, watched how
this female preened
her subdued red feathers, how
this female was first at the feeder, alerting
her hungry blaze-of-scarlet male, how
this female chirped matins
to the earliest subtle light and

the woman felt her low-slung hum totter
from its nest in her belly, swell
upward in wingbeats of energy, burst
from her mouth in gorgeous notes
of gray.