The season has taken a stab
At despondency. Note the nickel-plated sky,
Its stony countenance. And the sallow grass,
How stunted its stature has become.
And all these dark birds: Starlings swarming,
Swirling like a tornado that keeps touching
Down. Crows crowding the fields,
Feeding on nothing but crumbs
Of cornstalks. The mourning dove, balancing
Its solo act on a telephone wire, crooning
Its Irish tune of lonesomeness and longing.
Looks like despair to me.
Except for those red-winged blackbirds
Flaunting their epaulets atop cattails.
Do you see them rise, then ride the back
Of the wind, scattering their clicks and clucks
Like seeds along the way?
They, too, witnessed the first dropped
Leaf, perceived how green withdrew
Its lovely face from the landscape.
So how do they do it, lifting their own
Hearts as they soar toward the clouds?
Don’t they ever, like the rest of us,
Tire of transcending?
This poem first appeared in Cider Press Review (Spring 2009).
Used here with the author’s permission.