Today's poem is by Tara Bray

On Starlings

How seriously can I take these speckled scoundrels
that bicker on a branch all morning long?
Itís with a kind of jubilee they scrap and scour

for their share. Though I canít help but feel affinity
for the fussy bills that hound their own breed,
yesterday I sat in judgment of the squawks

that raged as if the pleasure of this world is argument.
Ill-willed, theyíre nothing like the junco—the darling
at my feeder now, a nervous joy who wears,

unknowingly, a tiny mustache made of snow.
Long ago I heard starlings were the ugly birds,
and so stood shocked to see the gleam of them,

smoothed down and touched with flecks of temple fire.
Should I turn from this beauty too frantic and difficult
to believe? No, Iíll take the crabby hearts in hand,

let them have their ungodly temperaments—
tree tempests, dazzlers, knuckle-headed saints.

Copyright © 2004 Tara Bray All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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