Three o’clock in the afternoon,
central Texas summer day,
over a hundred degrees out.
I know there will be no birds,
nothing but grackles and vultures.
I still go out, and I’m not surprised.
Only grackles seem to like this heat.
The other birds hold still like
knots in the trees, silent waiting for dusk,
trying to keep their colors from melting
into the brown grass and faded leaves.
Overhead a few vultures soar on
steady outstretched wings,
folding sky and letting it move
around and over them as they ride
thermals up to more temperate
atmospheric zones. Meanwhile,
the grackles and I enjoy the heat
until the other birds begin to stir
and it’s time for me to go home.
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