Like the trusty railing, the congenial
patio table, the steady deck itself,
and every firm crotch
in every faithful tree, the feeder’s
become a sculpture.
I should have black and white to lace
into the camera to capture
this transubstantiation, this emergence
from the overnight dark and storm,
an aesthetic thing in itself,
dangling like an earring
from the gaunt lobe of a different day—
a white arrow, squirrel-emptied,
aimed straight for the flat sky.
The first little bird to find it, sunup,
can only inquire, perch
and jerk a nervous while,
then quickly move along
in wired hopes the other stops
around the circuit will service
his tiny entitlement, will be
scraped clean and waiting
like a retired guy’s double drive.
By tomorrow I know this wind
and another early thaw
will have de-transmorphed my feeder
to its manufactured purpose,
its slick roof and Plexiglass siding
once again resembling an urbane
enticement to things wild, to some
Nature available outside a backdoor slider.
And I know I’ll have also lost
more impetus for believing
of the impermanent, its exceptional
knack for nourishing the dazzle
in this everyday desire.
D. R. James’s latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020); his online micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at Origami Poems Project; and individual poems have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and journals. He lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan.