From my piece in today's Metro NY:
On a Saturday morning at the Hua Mei Bird Garden in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, where the Lower East Side rubs up against Chinatown, the trees are full of birdcages. Half shrouded in white cloths, they look like Halloween ghosts, bouncing a little in the branches. Up close, you find that each one is carved from bamboo and contains a single songbird...
...It’s the end of summer. The air has shifted. Already, the leaves of the London Plane trees are brown and falling. One drops into my lap, like a living thing, and I think of a line from a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
“Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!”
Please read the whole essay here.