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A poem should have birds. All of them are mimics, opera singers, warriors. Pure spirit. From my deck I see a dove pace circles around a pit bull that ignores its croon of despair. Atop a phone pole, a mockingbird pleads for a mate at 3 a.m. awakening some of us who hear his deep-throated yearning and understand. I’ve seen an egret with a question mark of a neck posed against a muddy wall of the L. A. River while cars rushed by on the Gold State freeway. I felt lonely when I watched a trio of hunch-shouldered cormorants congregate on the Redondo pier reminding me of my long-dead uncles talking baseball. Have you ever seen a flying wedge of pelicans float above the Coast highway, borne on air? The sky is theirs. They own it as much as the acrobat red tail hawk artfully dodging angry crows above the downtown interchange, while miles away, hummingbirds in Hancock Park wage war over red nectar in the feeder my neighbor hangs from an oak. Last Sunday, a wary-eyed seagull, ignored by everyone, and as big as a cat, paced the hotel’s cafe patio, hoping for careless crumbs, darting expertly to peck at the dropped remains of a croissant. Dusk, or as Thelonius called it, crepiscule, the sky shading into lavender, is approaching as I sit with bird book and binoculars. I know that’s why the blackbirds squawk, aware as they are of the dying of the light.
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Sandra Giedeman has been published in many journals including “Poetry,” “Cortland Review,” “Bellevue Literary Review,” “Paris/America Review,” and was awarded the Mudfish Poetry Prize by Charles Simic. She has one Pushcart Nomination. Her poetry collection, “In This Hour” was published by Green Tara Press in 2015. She lives at the beach in San Clemente, CA.