A female cardinal splashes
in the birdbath, fluffs, perches
on its rim, takes sips, springs
up to the dying, drying limb,
repeats, until satisfied, flies away,
a sudden flash of red pursuing.  

Seven weeks have passed.
I don’t sense your presence,
yet continue our reflections
on death, then what. Perhaps
you are back as a cardinal.  

Have a mate who sticks around,
does not take to the sea, protects
but does not crowd, desirous
even on a molting hair day.
Monogamous for life, unlike
two others. I can hear you

‘laughing so hard,’ you’d write.     
So maybe not. Be what you may.

Just be, longer.