after Andrew Wyeth’s Bird in the House
The evening light dislodged it
from its perch, shot it straight through
an open window, stone-gray
stopped on the mantel. How quiet
the bird became. It might be
straining silver, or pulling
the summer’s edge from its beak,
which tastes of goldenrod
and zinnia seeds and mud.
Hardly anyone can tell
if it’s confused or afraid.
It has settled in the light
of the sun the way you’d listen
politely to your best friend
who’s promised to read your palm,
a heartbeat of disbelief
rattling against dumb luck.
Shadows cringe in its presence.
The potted fern disappears.
It’s the leaning bird we want
to apprehend. It doesn’t
seem convinced it’s not alive.
by Robert Fillman from House Bird (Terrapin Books, 2022)
Cover art by Jason Martin
buy link: https://www.amazon.com/House-Bird-Robert-Fillman/dp/1947896520
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