House wrens beak-pick seed from broom corn.
One dried leaf cracks; cat. At once,
twenty birds flare into the air,
and I, sitting nearby, am centered
in their flight path, two eyes staring at forty
specks hurtling into focused,
glossy seeds. I stiffen, prepare
for a collision, yet I smile, recognizing
that look, that feeling, now exponential,
a wild determination to leave,
rushing to someplace better—or not.
Like the man who shoved aside
a path of people on Park Street’s sidewalk,
so crowded, no one could move,
but he had to, had to get out,
gulp a clear patch of sky.
Like the wife who hurried from a party,
finally grasping the glance between her friend
and husband. The wife’s skirt whipped her legs
as she rushed away, the sound
of forty wings beating furiously
while the eyes stare straight ahead
to somewhere. The intent more intense
more unknown the destination.
Previously published in Dos Passos Review