In the wilds of our suburban lawn,
the natural world inclines to fable:
Gray squirrels, unperturbed by rain,
jockey for position at what our landlord
speaks of, nominally, as the bird feeder.
Below, dark-eyed juncos peck at fallen millet,
masked like hangmen from another time.
The great, unwritten order of it all
scrambles when Max, our landlord’s aging chow,
starts loping toward the scene. This is his work,
so in a sense, he’s adding order, too.One squirrel has shifted to a fencepost
where it twitches its tail and rearranges
in quarter turns like a guard. In total, there’s
more movement than the eye can account for,
all of it framed in the window’s tic-tac-toe.
The glass weeps condensation. It’s early, but
already the dog has slumped down for a nap.
There’s plenty of time to lumber after thoughts
that rise and disperse, dark-feathered things
returning when I manage to be still.
Copyright © 2017 by Nicholas Friedman
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
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