Battle at the Birdfeeder
Blue jays are bastards,
deceptive in their coat of contrasts, the first
to be admired by those who have spent less
time observing their terrorist tactics.
But I’m on to them. I know their tricks: steer
the cardinals away from the corn, pretend
the suet tastes better, then dive
bomb. Strength does not come in numbers.
They hate indiscriminately. They are not working
as a team, but by lunch, ten cardinals
are losing to half as many jays.
Red blends with the remaining dead
leaves so that the cardinals look like decorations,
poised in defeat, waiting for leftovers.
April Salzano teaches
college writing in Pennsylvania and is working
on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on
raising a child with Autsim. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg,
Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, Deadsnakes, The Rainbow Rose and other
online and print
journals and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly and
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