To the Grackle

Indecent bird. Lovely
             as an oil slick with wings,
you’ve called me
             to the summer garden.

Tin cans of light are crashing
             through the pear tree—
trash, umbel, globe, and bract,
             come kiss my ass—that’s how

you sound, how you (rash bird!)
             can lure me. Can I keep coming back
to this garden, if I’m called?
             I have a man I love

and a boy, who will be a man,
             whose bones I still feel click
and thrash where I put my arms around him
             just this morning—the lash

of your voice tells me, I should call
             my loves while I can
to listen to the grackles croak and clack
             in a nest built with half a ramen cup.

They tumble out into the yard.
             For a moment, two tall figures
stand twitching like the stuck hands of a clock
             then, crude slash of sound—

boy or man (or you, bird)—sends them
             swooping and dashing through
panicles, perennials, old blackberry canes.
             Let it always be this way—noise

summoning, mustering us together
             to search out the brash
mother who curses
             and flashes her wings.

Read on . . .

Tiny Bird,” a poem by Jim Harrison

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