14 April 2008

Redbird, Blackbird

the red-breasted birds visit
with us again, heads half-cocked,
trilling the morning and evening song

banishing those blacklegged birds of
somber hue who croaked through the
days of November, their sour edicts
now forgotten

he knocks on the door again, the
devil of self-doubt, greasy noose of
a collar tight about his neck

and Fogarty gives him a couple
of swift kicks, sending him on
his way, stomach still pinch-cramped

with want of food, mouth dust-dry,
tramping down the walk, exhaling expletives

as Fogarty pitches empty jars into the blue
bins, clink, clink, clink, crash, scratches
out another list, the words totter on the
page, top-heavy, indigestible as wallpaper paste

black on white, the printing as plain as the
mark of a finger through a furze of dust

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