Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Odd little tale, dated 2004, found in a rarely used notebook:
Chain link fence length of the driveway,
this side where I am,
that side with the birds
attracted by a wood feeder.

Mourning Doves, only pigeons
with softer eyes, sad cooing,
mate for life, if those birds count,
how many Springs do they count

The flocking sparrows, their chattering,
chirps & whistles, gathering in
the winter bare vines tangled
through an old trellis,
good-natured toward each other,
fearful of everything else.
Plain starlings, bullying birds
that shriek sharply when they fight
over stale rolls in the street,
but in Spring they are cousins to mockingbirds
that perch high in trees, telephone poles,
rusting television antenna,
singing the greatest hits
of every bird they every heard,
insects, even car alarms.

& the birds I hear but never see,
March arrivals hiding in the evergreens.

For these songs & sights
I toss some leftover cornbread
over the fence into the yard
the birds seem to own.
"Hey you, stop that!" a woman yells.
"Or I'll call the police."
She flies from her hiding place
behind a broken down garage,
thin & fortyish, angry red face,
a bird of a different feather
condemning my innocent food.
I wonder how the 9-1-1 operator would have reacted?

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