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The Name
Julie L. Moore



Binoculars focusing on russet crown,
White line above the eye, and gray breast—

We first concentrated on the females
Who lacked the hues in their names—

Purple Finch? Rose-breasted Grosbeak?
Red-winged Blackbird? No.

We spied some more, my firstborn and I,
Laughing like schoolgirls at our failures

To conjure the word while the bird
Perched on pear tree branches,

Nonchalantly glancing toward us.
Try again, it seemed to taunt

In its lung-fueled falsetto,
Just see if you can speak

My name. And I gave up,
Passed the field guide to Ashley,

My finger, by chance, bookmarking
The page. As sudden as a spell,

She announced the appellation.
How we marveled then,

Not so much because we knew,
Though it did bring satisfaction,

But because that Chipping Sparrow stayed there,
Pitching its notes to the enchanted world.

From Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions, 2010).
Used with the author’s permission.


Julie L. Moore believes that writing poetry can be like a game, for it can manipulate language, satirize our clever, yet shallow, society, and even crack jokes. But that's not why she jots notes in her moleskin while washing dishes, playing summer tourist, or trying to endure prolonged and painful illnesses. For her, it’s about saving a life: her own and--she hopes, if she's any good at it--someone else’s. Author of Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions) and Election Day (Finishing Line Press), Julie’s award-winning work has been published in numerous journals. Read more about her at


Post New Comment:
I must learn to proofread!!! It is "Just like this poem." Sorry.
Posted 03/27/2011 02:03 PM
I love it when cardinals look at me from the feeder and let me stay on the porch while they dine. It is a tender moment. Jut like this poem.
Posted 03/27/2011 02:02 PM

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