The Birds

Poem by Joyce Wilson

Isolated near the sea, the bridge

Engages them, and all along its struts,

They settle overnight, shoulder to shoulder.

 

At dawn, they rise from points like filings flung

Against some scrim of fabric in the sky

And drawn by unseen magnets into shapes.

 

The birds shake out the shadows of their wings

And darken all the edges of the bridge

Like manic artists who’d correct its form.

 

We hear their cries above the traffic’s din

And fear that hidden in their minds’ dark color

We might detect some permanent disorder.

 

 American Arts Quarterly, Fall 2015, Volume 35, Number 4