Greyhound Joey vs. the Grackle

Three bites taken on the run, two soggy feathers
float from his mouth, no sign left of any bird.

I call animal emergency:
Yuck, but your dog will be fine.
It’s what he’s made to do.

I call another vet just to be sure.
First, Ewww. But I am told the same.

It’s what he’s made to do.

My friends weigh in:
What’s one less grackle?
I hate those filthy birds.
Thank goodness. Grackles are awful.

Now, each morning I fill the feeders
as I’ve always done, and Joey follows
as he always has, but something’s new:

in the way he watches me pour the seed,
he admires how the trapper baits his traps.

///

This is from my poetry collection, Birds Nobody Loves, and was first published along with “North through Fog” in the February 2011 edition of The Houston Literary Review, which has, alas, disappeared from the ‘net without a trace.

It’s one of those poems that, unfortunately for the grackle, qualifies as nonfiction.

Birds Nobody Loves is on sale (15% off) through the holidays on Amazon and through my e-store and could make a great gift for the poetry or bird lover on your shopping list.

And, if you’ve already purchased a copy now or earlier, my sincerest thanks.

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