A blackbird rose from the catastrophe of scrub,
pomp and plump of snow clattering off branches.
Its wings were flapping like a book
flying off the shelf, feathers black and smudged
from close work with print, wingtips of words
and birdsong slipped with ice melt and berries.
I say "Downward to darkness, on extended wings."
and the bird grimaces, because I always say that,
because it is always "Sunday Morning" for me,
in my waking dream I wander through a poem
of coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
words, the fragrance of lilacs. The bird whistles:
"Call me Wallace." This old, odd chimera of my life
made of papier mâché, an ill-matched pastiche –
part lumbering walk, part postcards from Colorado,
part the haunted mask I wear – laughable
my pretense of the ancient sacrifice, to arrive
at this place in the woods without gloom
or suffering – a bird rising from the snow,
its beak red with berries, testing my reality
as if I were the poem, the fabrication,
the dithered smudge flying across a white field.
Shay’s Word Garden