Mom died, and goldfinches flooded
my feeders, bright yellow edged in white
and black, singing soprano worthy
of the Welsh, sunlight tempered 
by moon and night. 

Dad faded, slow then fast, lost himself
in dementia. After he died, the kestrel
appeared, over my head, in the park,
floating above the interstate exit,
sharp-eyed, clear-minded, quick. 

Maggie fought loss of independence
until she couldn’t. At her home, at my sister’s,
the Carolina wren sang its teakettle song.
The day she died, one perched on the porch rail
and sang and sang and sang.