This is a private poem.
I wish I could tell you more
but you know how it goes with wishes.

When I was a little girl 
my grandparent’s yard had a light pole. 
A pole light. What else do you call it?

And we had bats and birds
and aunts who said
If a red bird lights on something,

make a wish and watch.
If the bird flies away, 
your wish will come true.

That’s how I found myself this morning
staring at a cardinal on the chainlink fence, 
making a wish of habit and optimism.

There was this one time
by a mudhole at the Wild Animal Park
I saw a rhino and a hippo in a stand off

One stomped the ground,
the other stared, neither moved.
The guide said they could kill each other.

I stared at the red bird til a brown bird came
and they flew away together
leaving me and my optimism behind.