“Resurrection” 4×4, oil on canvas

I love goldfinches for two main reasons. 1: yellow. 2: Mary Oliver and her poem “Invitation” that I’ve posted here about a hundred times so I’ll spare you this one time on this one blog post. 

So imagine my delight to find another goldfinch poem by another poet with yet another reason to put them in my paintings, another reason to let them flit around in my head bringing peace to my dreams, hopes, worries, and fears.  In this poem, they feast on thorns, their yellow bodies juxtaposed to the mud and muck.

“I learned that they were a symbol of resurrection/ Of course they were.”


The Year of the Goldfinches

By Ada Limón

There were two that hung and hovered

by the mud puddle and the musk thistle.

Flitting from one splintered fence post

to another, bathing in the rainwater’s glint

like it was a mirror to some other universe

where things were more acceptable, easier

than the place I lived. I’d watch for them:

the bright peacocking male, the low-watt

female, on each morning walk, days spent

digging for some sort of elusive answer

to the question my curving figure made.

Later, I learned that they were a symbol

of resurrection. Of course they were,

my two yellow-winged twins feasting

on thorns and liking it.