Unnatural Selection

posted in: Poem | 0

a house sparrow roosts in the carport.
haloed suddenly by my flashlight,
he blinks his black bead of an eye
the way i blink when awakened by lamp glow.

the book on birdhouse building advises:
trap and eliminate this old world finch
who harasses native cavity nesters.

though he doesn’t fly, i think i can read
fear in his shiny eye.  glyphs
of guano on the rafter below
score an intention to stay.

what birder could lure with winter seeds,
houses, suet only to exterminate?  oh for a logical
heart, for a love that discriminates.

his kind, like mine, has colonized
not just this tilled valley, but the entire lower forty-eight.
it’s no human province, is it, to go back
to brooklyn 1851 and lock those wire cages?

we suffer the world as we’ve made it.


“Unnatural Selection” was first published in Knock Journal.

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