Morning at Starbucks

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?

David Joplin

DAVID JOPLIN has published poetry in several journals, including “bosque,” “Railyard Review,” and “Santa Fe Literary Review.” Publications are pending this fall in “Trickster,” “The Halycone Literary Quarterly,” and “Miletus Literature Magazine.” In addition to poetry, David has published journal articles on a range of American and British authors, as well as a book about Wordsworth and Coleridge. In his most recent essay, a study of Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire,” was published in “Journal of the Southwest,” fall 2019. In addition, he has taught English and literature at colleges and universities throughout the west. He now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Contributions by David Joplin