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Young, George, 1938- / Bird of paradise: poetry
(2011)

The others,   p. 23


Page 23

The Others
In the interstices of our world
(vacant lots, ditch-banks, the sad elms
in cemeteries)
they flit
and flicker, search for their spider eggs,
their wild grass seeds.
They are here!
Umber, plum,
plain or streaked, their eyes bright as drops of hot
black wax, they peer,
they stab with tiny daggers.
You may be
only casually aware of some small movement
in the leaves, a soft chip, a faint whir of wings.
But they see you-
the others,
here! crying life,
feathered hearts going a mile a minute, ready if
you get too close, to freeze or fly.
23


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