The Trinity Bird


towhee photo from sue schmoyer

(Photograph of Eastern Towhee by Sue Schmoyer; used with permission.)

This poem brings together the joy I find in both birding and in theology.

On spring days, Towhee,
I hear you sing,
“Drink your tea!”

And the theologian
In me also hears,

Your April sound
Echoes through the woods,
Alerting us that spring is here.

It is fitting
That the time you appear
Is near Easter Day,

For you sing of hope:
The forest comes alive
After winter dormancy.

Towhee, not only in sound,
But in color,
You are the Trinity Bird:

Black for Good Friday,
White for Easter Sunday,
Rufous for Pentecost Day.

In appearance and song,
You bear witness to
Three-in-One, One-in-Three.

Your invitation to tea
Reminds me of the invitation
Of Jesus at Table:

This is my body–
This is my blood–

“Given for you,
For all of you,
For all creation.”

Towhee, your words
And your colors
Are signs of God’s inclusive grace,

A grace which embraces
White, and black, and red,
And every shade of God’s creation.


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