"I have a Bird in spring," in which a speaker tries to hang onto the faith that a beloved songbird will return in spite of the fact that it's flown far away, expresses the difficulty of facing loss in love and explores the strength it takes to go on trusting in a changed relationship. Emily Dickinson included the poem in an 1854 letter to her beloved Sue Gilbert, a friend to whom she'd developed a passionate attachment. When Sue married Dickinson's brother Austin, Dickinson had to grapple with the possibility that her relationships with two people she cared deeply about might never be the same. Like the vast majority of Dickinson's work, this poem wasn't published until long after her death. It was first printed in an 1894 collection of her letters.