Twenty Six

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

         --- EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

the little Bird

watching at the kitchen window
we saw a spring sleek crow land
on the rotting birdhouse
where sparrows yearly build 
their nests

our new cat shivered and
stuttered on the sill
with electricity

as the big black bird 
levered a curved bill 
into the crack
at the back of the house
to shred the nest

spray it over 
the new lawn

the crow cawed and 
cracked massive wings
before plunging
into the tender bed

we watched an egg
slip down its gullet
then another

while little brown birds
fluttered and chirped
on the wires
in the cedars
along the fence

I think I said 
something like
the circle of life 
is brutal
before I

turned away
to finish 
making lunch

Suggested soundtrack: Wagner.