Jul/Aug 2017 Poetry

Watching The Starlings

by Joel Fry

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream

Watching The Starlings

I watch the starlings return to the front
yard then leave again as if slipping
through a hole in the sky, confirming
my long, narrow vision, the way I see
feathers funnel through the unknown
light, going everywhere at once,
back to the farmland I used to know.
I see my lawn after I have seen
everything else. This bird chatter
makes silence the way silence
makes a distant car horn.
I mean to remember how my beliefs
move me in and out of this scene,
through my eyes, to the end
of a precipice and the bottom
of a self-involved bed of buttercups.
The wind does the rest. It swirls
through piles of damp leaves
like a voice repenting through tears
of twenty imagined wrongs committed
against a phantom God
who can only forgive the pleas of fools.
No one oscillates through hysteria
like me, when anxiety
steals everything. I understand
moments that resuscitate the green
growth of memory, where cattle
and goats graze and I sit alone
gathering ants.


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