a sonnet by Paul Burgess

American Goldfinch

Upon reflection it would make no sense,
But when I saw you feeding near the tree,
I nearly ran to close the open fence
Though knowing that to come and go you’re free.

Invading space around my ribs and heart,
The panic rested only when I paused
And knew that Master Fear had shown his art
Replete with terrors nothing real has caused.

My heart becoming calmer in my chest,
I thought, “How very odd, insane, absurd
For fears about my dog to manifest
As fears about that little garden bird.”

What magic matches anxious minds for tricks?
What else can make a snake of harmless sticks?



5 thoughts on ““Goldfinch”

  1. mbarkersimpson

    A snake of harmless sticks – what a beautiful line; one that sums up the sonnet I feel. To me this poem speaks of the control we seek and the fears we project – the freedom this bird projects on the other hand, is enviable 🙂


    1. paulwhitberg Post author

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the poem, and I love your interpretation of it. For a change, instead of writing something bizarre, I was trying to turn a mundane event into an object of reflection. Thanks for your feedback!


      1. mbarkersimpson

        You’re welcome. I enjoy a good poem that allows me the freedom of interpretation. I’m one of the rare sign language interpreters who enjoys translating poetry – it’s a huge challenge but sometimes I read something and think, yeah I could do that justice!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s