With a passionate tuft upon his head,

Mr. Downey carved wood.

From homes to holes,

From chairs to chests.

Peck, chip, cast.

He ate raspberry salads for lunch,

Each tasting worse than the last.

His wings twisted and ached,

His Dalmatian spots faded grey.

Marrow burned into the hollows.

Chickadees had finches,

The juncos had doves,

Mr. Downey had none.


With a fervent burst of energy,

Lady Cardinal kept flannel scraps.

From plaid to argyle,

From spots to solids.

Shift, stuff, snuggle.

She was so busy she scarcely ate,

And ignored those without struggle.

Her mind felt foggy and clogged,

Her feathers shifted to sickly crepe.

Skin shriveled over her solitude.

No neighbors were in sight,

Her nest was up too high.

Lady Cardinal had no one.


Flashes of red, rays of light,

Mr. Downey took flight one night

To appease his heart and stare at the stars.

A fragile snowfall of powdered sugar.

The only cedar tree for miles,

Had the best view up top.

Ready for bed, Lady Cardinal dreamt,

Even though she was half asleep.

“Are you here to see the stars, too?”

Asked the Downey bird.

She jumped from her seat.

A happy accident.

They found each other,

Chirping through the February weather,

Nestled under flannel for heat

In the tallest cedar tree.


Emily Grimaldi, a film and video major, will graduate in the spring of 2016. Inspired by insects, birds, and bright uses of color, she tries incorporating these elements into her art as often as possible. Emily is currently working on her thesis drama, The Heart Of Home.