Monday, September 3, 2012

If that bird muttered with an old man’s throat.

Hooray for the approach of fall.  I sat outside today at my local cafe, feeling urban and writerly as I drank a cappuccino and a glass of red wine and wrote in my notebook.  It turned out that I filled up the notebook, writing the last three pages, which feels like an ending, but also a beginning, which is the way fall feels to me. It was nearly 90 today in Chicago, and as I wrote I heard the whap whap whop of people walking by in their flip-flops. But the elm tree in my front yard knows what's coming, it is already shedding some brown saw-edged leaves.  Tonight I am fiddling with a manuscript.  Here's a poem from it that feels (to me) like a fall poem:

Postcard for the Soul That at Last Became a Bird

a warm afternoon:
a crow

stalks the shade beneath
a sycamore tree,

at some kind of meat
in the grass.  If
your soul

became a bird.
If that bird muttered
with an old man’s

throat.  If there’s a soul.
If the crow
found a treasure,

a beakful, a bone.
The soul’s search,
the crow’s

hunger.  The luck
of the scrap. The force
of the stab.

The pluck and rasp
of those black
scissors. Crows,

their voices. Crows
in the branches
like a wicked boys choir.

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