Saturday book feature — House Bird — Robert Fillman

House Bird

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

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One response to “Saturday book feature — House Bird — Robert Fillman”

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    J.R. Solonche


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