Birds of a Feather
The coffeeberry ensnares birds with scarlet treats.
Waxwings stalk the branches, protecting their berry wealth
from avian competitors. No altruism in the animal world.
Little of it in the human world, as people shake the money trees,
pocketing green paper avariciously. Feathering their own nests,
with none to spare for others. No altruism in the human world.
The contradiction of living in a nation that praises democratic principles,
as we are governed by multi-millionaires. Leaders gathering shiny baubles
to fly home proudly to their states. No altruism in the political world.
An expectation of altruism may be unrealistic, although aspirations
seem healthy. Emily Dickinson wrote, “hope is the thing with feathers.”
Perhaps, focusing on waxwings in the coffeeberry is the path forward.
I inhabit my body, but sometimes I don’t.
The space around me, a twitch on my skin,
can I go there?
Beyond my boundaries, pores open to change,
hairs reaching out.
Eyes stretched to see, ears ringing nothing,
Fingers extended, a void between, visible
tendons on hand backs.
A visit to negative space, which is not me.
Roping a Young Cow
is poetry. The lasso demarcated
dust, startled eyes, nothing fits.
Rope-held, animal outline rears
from the dirt, structure achieved.
But, still disorderly, checking
needed for a walk toward the barn.
With a flick of the gate,
ready for market.
Susan J. Wurtzburg is a retired academic, and lives in Hawai‘i. She writes and runs her editing business (Sandy Dog Books LLC), in between water sports, hiking, walking her dog, and socializing online, while she waits for the pandemic to diminish, allowing life to resume.