blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Woman goes out into damp December

Woman goes out into damp December
   dish pan in hand,

offers water to the slumbering
   blackberry vines. She slaps the pan,
            imagines the bear,

come round two mornings before,
   wrought iron pole of the bird house bowed
            nearly double. She conjures

the great black shape,  
   belly full of suet, chickadee
           feeder broken at his feet, perches
neatly removed, plastic tube pierced
   by the tooth of his hunger. She’s seen
       where he hunkers, straw of dying

grass flattened in the woods
   behind her home, nocturnal swath
           carved wide with his wanderings.

She wants to catch him at his vandalisms,
   wonders if she were to yield
           her last basket of apples—

mealy, sweet—if giving brings more
   than a bearish appetite. 
            In this slim, growing bleak

and darker time, she greets
   a star swelling with secrets, a body
            pressing on through darkness.

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