When every bird cometh

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
–Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules

This is not
a love poem.
sound outside
my downtown window:
another broken

Street lights burn
into mid-February
dark, remember Indian
summer afternoons.
The sirens stop.
In the silence leftover,
your pulse, slowed.

Hope hides
breathing low & fast between
the river and the
dying with its secrets
into the skin
of bare city shoulders.

A soldier
makes his way
uphill from Main
Street station, red
against desert camo.

There is no
snow, today.
A good day
for wing-ed
if one hungers
for such things.

10 thoughts on “When every bird cometh

  1. I learned to read Chaucer aloud with a fairly accurate accent. Mastering Middle and Old English spelling helps as these later styles train for the earlier Chaucerian tone and recognize this particular spelling to get the words right.

  2. nice joanna….i like the contrast in the sirens and the silence…and the stanza immediately after that is tight…between the river and the dying…nice….lots of great texture in this…i like…

  3. You’ve created a very stark and graphic series of pictures here, very compact, nothing extra do divert from the impact. Each stanza both stands on its own and helps build to that excellent windup. Very fine piece

  4. Stark, winter, no doily frills here. This is as clear as cold air on a freezing sunny day. Not all is joy, but nothing more original than “breathing low & fast between/ the river and the/dying with its secrets/freckled/into the skin/of bare city shoulders.” Excellent

Leave a Reply to Steve King Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s