Donald Mace Williams


Cardinal: A Word from a Bird

Last year, when I was young, I heard
On all sides TEE-oo whit-whit-whit,
Full voiced, most beautiful, but now
Two trees from mine, some yearling twit
Stutters out TYOO-ch-ch-ch-ch
And other trees for miles around
Echo that senseless, tuneless sound,
New-style. Alas for lass and lad,
Love songs aren’t sung this spring but chirred,
And if some kid says, “Like that, Dad?”
I’ll have to tell him, “Not one whit.”

Donald Mace Williams is a retired newspaper writer and editor with a Ph.D. in Beowulfian prosody. His hybrid book Wolfe and Being Ninety and second book of poems, The Nectar Dancer, came out in 2023. Williams, at ninety-four, lives alone and independently in one part of Texas or another.