The Cardinal

I have been the eagle
carried the hue of the bluebird
I have been in the company
of vultures, crows, buzzards
I have sung like the nightingale
cried like a whippoorwill
Fought like the hawk

But tonight I am the cardinal,
Protective
Scarce
Loud
and red crested
from a heart
that tends to burn like fire
until the mountain is ash