Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Cardinal: Bridging the Worlds



The Cardinal: Bridging the Worlds

In Kauai’s green embrace, the thundering ocean greets a cloud swept sky.

A cardinal perches decisively on the back of a white deck chair.

She turns her scarlet head toward me

And with wings aflutter

Sings a full throated song,

A sublime melody from a sacred place.

With each sweet note carried on the ocean’s breeze,

Her song weaves love’s tender thread

as a bridge between the worlds.

A message from the gods? A message meant for me?

That night I drift on waves of sleep,

Then startle awake

By the bright essence of my dear friend--

lover of birds.

Devoting later years to healing wounds of grief and loss,

she made peace with the ocean that had killed her brother,

with the orphanage that bruised her childhood.

Gratitude became her companion.

She died at peace,

a heart attack in early morning,

with her cat snuggled up beside her,

no regrets.

Her spirit now close to me, suffused with sparkling joy,

The cardinal returns daily with her mate and her soaring song, a beacon of grace.

Hawaiians say that the cardinal connects us to the departed;

They seek it out for solace.

So, let the cardinal's song echo through time,

A bridge between worlds, between life and death,

I bow to her,

for this blessing at the ocean's edge.


                                        ~Alexandra Kennedy

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