"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2016 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw.


Polly Alice

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seventy Seventh Triangle

Seventy Seventh Triangle

Thirty-one blackbirds prowl in our yard
to peck and preen, to steal or glean.
They started it?  Well really
it was the cat, which is why this is a triangle.
But maybe it’s important to mention
there are only blackbirds in this neighborhood,
and two hawkish bluejays-- who are crows
with pretty coats.  But when I walk five blocks north,
I find a fine variety of frightened
birds keeping out of their territory.

Bean, as the calico cat was called, caught a crow
one day.  She murdered him, heaved the fence,
with his broken neck telling
his story down one side of her smile,
scatted over our yard,
and then safely into her own.

That was the day,
the day the conspiracy of crows gathered
on the wire running to our house like
so many jailbirds or tar babies—
planning revenge against
any creature who touched
one of their own.

That was the last day of peace
in the triangle.  Within a day or two
Bean was “killed by a car,”
     Whatever.
Her house mate, the Pekinese,
died “suddenly.”
    Right.

Kay’s husband,
across the street, was carried out
in a black death bag.
“died in his sleep.”
Neighbors poked their
beaks from behind white curtians.
She had cooked him fresh hash browns
every morning for breakfast
by scraping one potato
through the grater,
one potato a day for sixty years.

Her daughter
pulled a four leaf clover out of
our front lawn and gave it to us.

For luck,

Death comes in threes,

they said, but it was too late.
They didn’t know about
the harbinger crow.  The crow
was the first death--
making four in all.

Our house died by fire
and crowbar soon afterwards.
The blue dumpster
sat in the drive way
for four months in front of
her souless windows.

A year later, we crossed
our fingers and counted
through the day—nothing
except a small feathery
nightmare to foretell…

Another death in our house
and another in her's.

Our houses
on seventy-seventh
connected,

I blame the crows.
And I tell you,
that makes six

--the cycle is complete.

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