12 January, 2021
You see them at Starbucks scrambling
below patio tables searching for pastry crumbs.
These are the Brewer’s blackbirds, the English sparrows,
the common grackles—disenfranchised souls bereft
of countryside and village green. Some limp on deformed
feet; others hobble on one leg, victims of urban treacheries.
I watch as a Brewer’s blackbird struggles beneath my
table; its unfolded tail and drooped wing drag gritty
concrete, plumes ragged, worn and torn. The bird
turns her head, looks at me with a golden eye.
What desperate thing drives them here, to this alien
ground, usurps their wildness, takes their spirit?