"The Writings of Mongsee"
by Marcia Wickes
"I use this poem in my creative writing classes, it's very popular."


My sister called, and I went to see
The hummingbird in the rose of Sharon bush
Outside the kitchen window........
So many afternoons, I have stood,
Dishes forgotten in my hands,
Sink flooding foamy drips down the counter
As the tap runs unheeded while I've watched
The tiny iridescent bodies of the hummingbirds
Flitting from one lascivious lavender blossom
To the next;  tiny fairy-birds, magical, hovering
In the waning afternoon mother-of-pearl light.
Tonight I watched ,and I remembered a hummingbird,
Long ago......I was so young, and the little thing
Was caught in a screen, and very frightened......
Minuscule beak caught in the merciless wire mesh,
It thrummed......it thrummed, was still, hummed again
And I (I only meant to help it I only meant to save it....)
Pulled it from the screen.....but too quickly, too rough too rough
My young hands....god forgive those too-quick hands....I hurt it;
And as I wondering held the little jewel in my hand,
It quivered and died,  a tiny drop of nectar rolling out
Of the needle-beak and onto my hand......it matched
The tears I cried..........

And oh, my foes, and oh my friends, 
When will we ever learn that the human heart
Is every bit as fragile as that tiny piece of life,
That little green bit of unique frailty, born once
And never seen again, for it died in my hand, I watched it go and
I knew it was my fault, though I meant it no harm... how many times
Will we rupture the tissue paper-hearts of the ones we encounter?
When will our hands  learn to slowly touch,
To gently hold, to softly cradle... when will our  voices learn
To caress with softness, not lacerate with words
Best left unsaid, 
When will our hearts learn to treasure the unique
Lovelinesses that we find in other hearts, 
So different from our own?

I will try, I will learn, I will softly go
Upon my way in this roughshod world;
And I will be careful......
Every day and in every way,
I will be careful!
For by the gods and goddesses,

I never want to kill a hummingbird again.

©~Marcia Wickes

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