* * *
It is green and blue and yellow where
I can see out the window
instead of concentrating on the page.
That famous poet chastised me
for putting birds in poems
as if he released them from
their lined and stanzaed cages when
he grew bored with their singing.
But you know what? I’m alone
with my paper and who will care
if I lure them in with my baton-
like pen, parading them into place
two by two like Noah and the
middle school marching band.
It’s not just robins and wrens.
Look at them come. Godwits
and bushtits, catbirds and black-
crested titmice, I tickle their feet
to move them along a little faster.
Come on, coots and loons with
the juncos and cuckoos, the dippers,
the pink-footed shearwaters.
Watch for the yellow legs,
the redstarts, bespeckled ovenbirds.
Quails and rails, pintails and pewees.
Now watch my favorites, most social
of them all, chattery magpies.
Inside my shabby bars, they wobble
on perches I improvise as they arrive.
* * *
Luanne Castle‘s Kin Types (Finishing Line), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award. Her first poetry collection, Doll God (Aldrich), was winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she studied at University of California, Riverside (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in Copper Nickel, TAB, Glass, Verse Daily, and other journals.
featured art by Mary Stebbins Taitt