Bio Note: I suppose each of us seeks moments of respite from the catastrophes of climate change, court manipulations, violence...you know what I'm talking about. I've been using Merlin (the free app from Cornell that allows the user to tape bird songs to identify what birds are near by -- with great accuracy.) I live in a Vermont woods and have found myself watching spectrograms (visual representations of sound) for ten to fifteen minutes at a time as Merlin stacks up the diversity of birds nearby giving me song. So I offer birds.
Beside this river’s current, quiet in summer heat we watch these birds glide from mud nests clustered under barn eaves. You ask again how chess pieces move; I draw a board in mud and watch the birds. The bishop’s moves resemble diving for bugs, coming and going in rapid slides. The knight makes mid-air shifts. The king’s limitations bore me, one step at a time, as humble as pawns. The swallow, named from the devourer, claims the queen’s fluid maneuvering and forked-tail agility, eating on the run. You open your pack, offer figgy granola bars, and call me a rook.
Imagine birds as common as robins on a park lawn strutting stuff and blending into shadows under about-to-rain spring clouds as if common means unimportant they yank up reluctant worms wrigglers memories resurrected as palindrome past to present, forward to backward whichever way you’re pulled to act pray reconsider or apologize reverse indecisions short hops that give you wing then bring you home to the lawn you already know as green under ominous overcast
©2022 Tricia Knoll
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL