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I’ve noticed mockingbirds in the yard this year, greedy for seeds.
I ask a birder why – climate change she replies.

Left the South in 1968 for a cooler clime, headed north,
a novice perplexed by the fast pace, commas instead of periods.

Birds fly a wide swath, they pepper the sky, leave the memorized
trail for new and novel space, rely on feeders filled by kindly widows.

Once I left Branch Avenue, I never looked back. I crossed the bridge,
then another, night turning to daylight. I poured wishes like lemonade.

A yellow-bellied flycatcher lands on the rail, a rare occurrence according to
Peterson. This cannot be ignored, new arrivals a symptom of abrupt change.

I practice meditation daily, breathe, relieve the stress.
This is not the end of things, this could be the source.

Notice a hawk circling. Such vision, the key to survival,
to scan every roadside and dump, every hill and hollow.

There’s a splinter in my finger which I have ignored for days,
the annoyance equal to a hangnail. I bear this as I bear squirrels at the feeder.

I have inherited the feeder, the furniture, the field next door, and if I were a hawk,
I too would circle the earth, orient myself overhead, cast a shadow below.


Mimi Moriarty is the producer and host of “Write Stuff,” a cable access TV program in the Albany, NY area. Her short fiction, poems, essays and articles have been published in many fine journals, magazines and newspapers, including Margie, Alehouse, SLAB, Thema, Rockhurst Review, Connecticut Review, Peregrine and Irish America, and she has read her poems and essays on NPR. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and teaches creative writing to adults and teens.

Her chapbook of 23 poems about the aftermath of war, War Psalm, was recently published by Finishing Line Press. Her workbook for couples: Let’s Watch a Movie: Using Popular Videos to Enrich Your Marriage, was published by Twenty-Third Publications (Mystic, CT) in 2003.

© 2008, Mimi Moriarty

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