Little Brown Beauty
–-after Valery Mann
Why rush the kitchen window every morning|
to bang your tender head upon the glass,
like a yoyo on an invisible string?
Experts declare: “protecting territory.”
That interloper in the glass has got to go,
and you’re just the soldier to do it,
a troop of one, your life’s quixotic business.
I’ve plastered the window with green post-it notes,
tried closing the shade, but you simply choose
I admire your persistence,
wonder at futility
see how you’re like me.
One day, I find your body beneath the window,
neck broken, twitching forever stilled,
subdued enough for a watercolorist.
Wrapped in plain, brown stripes,
from a family too abundant to be rare.
One of a long, undistinguished series
showing what can happen when you chase away
the one who looks like you, charging forward
instead of stepping back,
the fallibility of instinct.
Along with your mussed, lumpy chest, your
cunning beak, and your already desiccating carcass,
your feet are what will stick with me:
curved, wiry, offered to the morning sky.
Katherine Edgren’s book The Grain Beneath the Gloss, (Finishing Line Press), is now available. She also has two chapbooks: Long Division and Transports. Her poems have appeared in Christian Science Monitor, Birmingham Poetry Review and Barbaric Yawp. She is a retired social worker, living in Dexter, Michigan.