They’re Grackles and Every Time I See Them by Patric Pepper

I scrawl my admiration in my all-weather birder book.
I don’t really have an all-weather birder book at all,
just the one in my mind, where I’m free to scratch.
The grackles cluck
to have their say, and I like that. Sometimes they swell
& hop & spread dark wings & perch on my shoulder &
have a look
in my birder book.

Which is to say they examine my self-assured scratch
with their ESP black eyes that chill the spine
with their golden-zero fat-chance good-luck pupils—&
then they double-cluck & flap & bolt pell-mell.
In my birder book

I make up little poems (not really) that point in all uncertain
terms to how crooked they’re not, & how they,
the grackles,
invented the spoon, the hallmark of genius tails that steer
them as they buck & bolt away from Homo sapiens insults
like: “Trash birds!” & “Not worthy of poetry!” & “Filthy!”
These misapprehensions
I also scribble
in my birder book.


Patric Pepper has published a couple of chapbooks and a full-length collection along the way. His work has appeared most recently in or is forthcoming from Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Broadkill Review, District Lines, Gargoyle, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, and The Northern Virginia Review. He prefers disorganized “religion” and misapprehensions of quantum mechanics to ersatz enlightenments. He lives in D.C.

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