Grackles poke around the right-of-way,
a confusion of iridescent-robed seekers,
an endless search for grass seeds.
The junkie at the intersection watches,
never takes his eyes off the grackles
even when I hand him some crackers
and dried bits of bread. I look in his eyes,
nobody’s home, and we both understand
the birds’ bright yellow eyes are more alive,
more aware of the gray curtain coming
down fast from the north. He stretches his arms
ready to ride that icy tailwind south, but the
light changes to green—too many cars now
block his path, but it’s useless anyway.
All his flight feathers fell out six years ago.
He stands in exhaust fumes, praying that
grackles share seed when snow’s coming.
This poem is older than today. The solstice here in Austin came in hot and overcast so the eclipse was a non-event, but fortunately for the people on those street corners with the grackles, it’s not cold and certainly not likely to snow. At least not tonight.
I wrote this as part of my Birds Nobody Loves series, but I guess it can also fit with Highway Sky.
Update: I just discovered One Stop Poetry (tip of the cyber hat to Dick Jones for showing the way), another cool poetry sharing site and so I’ve linked this there. Go check out some of the other great work to be found in this week’s One Shot Wednesday.