A red-winged blackbird set, watching me,
his fence post newly staked, bark on, topside down.
At arm’s length, rusty fence pliers bounce along a span of wire.
“One. Two. Three. Hemlocks, see, twist over time—”
that’s Cunningham’s voice, “stretches the wire.
Set one post-wrong-way-to and it’ll sag right there.”
Come a day I recall Seamus Heaney
and with newfound pride—my own name
and that red-winged blackbird there,
down Vernon River way.
Western Canadian poet, storyteller and sometimes shit disturber. First published in Sand Patterns, Prince Edward Island, in 1974. Up and down since then. Several chapbooks slouch on bookshelves marking "the sudden grey of decades passing," following a first humiliating rejection, in person.