Today's poem is by Susan Rothbard

Feeding the Birds

I wanted them to come. Wanted cardinals,
jays, a goldfinch— that yellow most of all.

I bought binoculars, Birds of New Jersey,
learned to recognize the mourning doves,

the black spots they shared, how they got
their name. My husband began to look

out the window each morning, shouted for me
when they came, bought a birdbath because

he'd learned that birds get thirsty. Our children
laughed at us as they raced out of the house,

but I liked all this learning. Then I learned
about grackles. I told myself I did not mind them;

their iridescent blue heads were beautiful.
I did not know they would take over, scare

the other birds away, that I would admit
they were ugly, buy seed they won't eat.

Now the empty suet feeder sways like a hanged
man on the branch where the grackles

had perched, and I watch from the window.
I could not choose my children this way.

Copyright © 2011 Susan Rothbard All rights reserved
from The Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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