Sunday, April 7, 2013

Poem A Day #7


Pheasants are an exotic bird, she said, she saw one for the first time.
Daddy used to go hunting, I thought, and brought them home
and I'd stroke their colorful feathers while our golden lab, Blondie
proudly wagged her tail as she stood next to me.
A Minnesota autumn saw pheasants hiding in cornfields
as they walked through dried stalks, the dogs flushing them out
while the men shoot.
I was 5 or 6 at the time, and remember grouse hunting too
but ring-necked
pheasants were the superior bird for the dinner plate.

I call up Dad today to ask him about pheasants. They are scarcer now
and he tells me when they started plowing down the cornstalks before each winter
when he was on the farm. Corn bores would destroy the crop, seeking the sugar.
No more habitat left for either.

Quail are exotic to me.
I see them running in a group of four, or five as I float in the air
my hot air balloon pilot friend pointing them out in the desert.

Pigeons coo-coo-ca-choo from my neighbor's rooftop.
I know their calls and their nesting habits as they parade down the sidewalk
their heads bobbing, from Minneapolis to Albuquerque.

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