by William Stobb
Run early get home coffee's automatically made
eat fruit shower dress kiss
wife leaving early hustle
children through the kitchen and out
to the sidewalk—love you be good
get smart be nice love you love you bye.
Now before I start writing this poem
water new grass seed planted
where dog piss brought up dirt.
After hose hiss something
walkie-talkie? in the alley
stop listen notice eventually count
at least six small birds
hunting the interior of our ancient lilac.
Mostly some kind of finch or sparrow
but one woodpecker in there I see
ripping bugs out of old wood.
Birds live this way but trees die
so I ring the chime to scare him off
like I can stop the processes.
Lovely pattern doesn't even
look at me—red crown striking striking
in decay I call landscaping.
Again the walkie-talkie
what the hell is going on I poke my nose
across the fenceline.
Between squad cars behind
two officers in riot gear
flank a neighbor smoking
a cigarette with his two