that bird

that bird, the lone little guy
who came to visit me
in my aerie, and
who ate some of my crumbs?
I thought he might
have been a grackle – a
delicious word for a
delicious-looking bird,
at least to my salivating cats – but
further investigation
(i.e. Googling)
tells me he was not.
he was merely
a common blackbird. they’re
not very big – I can see
how it could take
four and twenty of them
to make a decent pie.

still, he was very cute
and brave, and it’s not
his fault he doesn’t have
a better name.


why am I suddenly
remembering that time
last winter when
we went for a walk
around the reservoir
and I’m pretty sure
you ogled my butt
when I came downstairs
in leggings and a normal
length tshirt and
it was bitterly cold and
I complained nearly
the entire walk
except when we saw
all those robins hopping
and bopping in the dead
trees and grass next
to the path and
I stopped dead
in my tracks and exclaimed
“Robin Redbreast! look
how many of them! oh
they’re so plump and
cute! how I love them!”
just like a real
manic pixie dream girl
but I really could have
watched them all day
and then we stopped
at Starbucks on the way
back to my house
and you had a long
blonde or grey hair clinging
to you and I removed it and
it was your mother’s
and then I got an unsatisfying
sandwich and when I
got home I found
my period had started?


all those crackers you and I put out
for the birds
got wet
and ruined by rain
before anybird had a chance
to eat them. then,
not too long after
I finally cleaned them up,
I saw a single, lone bird –
a glossy black slightly iridescent-feathered guy
with a brassy, sassy chirp and
a bold yellow beak and legs,
cute as the day is long
and twice as brave
in the face of my extremely
interested cats –
come by and land right on the
deck, to pick and peck
at the crumbs.

the moral of this story?
turns out it is possible
to have too much
of a good thing.
save your spread
for the ones who will
appreciate it
rather than pouring out
your whole heart at once –
spending your love like something
you’re trying to get rid of –
in the hopes that someone
will happen by
to eat it all up.

the message

I’ll write it
in a fortune cookie fortune –
you never order
Chinese. I’ll write it in the sky
in puffy white letters fifteen feet tall,
and hope you don’t leave
the house that day. I’ll write it
in BBQ sauce on your plate
when you go to the bathroom,
and hope the waiter clears
the dishes before you return.
I’ll write it in chalk on the sidewalk
and watch little girls play games
all over it. I’ll write it in blood
on the inside of my lungs,
I’ll write it in tears on the inside
of my eyelids, I’ll write it in aspartame
on the inside of a diet Coke can,
I’ll write it in crumbs
for the pigeons and squirrels
to spread the word,
for sparrows
to hop on your windowsill and
tell you in a series of chirps that you can’t
possibly understand.
I’ll write it in sighs
on the wind.

all of these
would be a better way
to communicate
what I know you don’t want to hear
than opening my big fat mouth
and saying a single word.

empty nest

years ago I saw
this tiny birdhouse and bought
it, thinking I could get a bird
to come live there
and entertain
my cats.

by the time
I got around to putting
it up, I was told
it was for wrens, which
are very small indeed
and live in the low trees.
no wrens will come
to my high aerie
no matter how hard I try.
it’s not right for their

I put it up
anyway, a constant reminder
that you can have the nicest
home in the world, the most
lovingly constructed heart,
but you can’t
make the right one
move in.

for the birds

those crackers we scattered
the last time you were here
don’t seem to be attracting
any birds. I heard some singing
today but somehow they managed
to resist the allure of this
Italian herb spelt goodness.
or not so much, as all the humans
upon whom I tried to force them
have not been particularly interested
either. either the birds
have much better taste
than we anticipated, or
the word hasn’t gotten out yet
about the bonanza of free food
on my terrace. now it’s rained
and I’m left with a big soggy mess
to clean up.

oh, well. it was worth
a try. hopefully this experiment
between us won’t also
end up being unfit
even for the birds.