outside my window


the grosbeak clings to the top

of the wire fence, hops to the ground,

pecks around the dried leaves

and puff balls, flutters back to the fence,

cocks her head and looks at me


looking at her, then turns her back,

drops down again and springs

onto a lilac shoot where she bobs,

tilts bill and beady eye, fixes sky, before

she flies to the galvanized gatepost.


she’s not as colorful as the male

strewn between the house and hedge

yesterday, nothing left but feathers and feet,

which made me think of the headless cat

we found last year in the back yard


right where those puff balls are at,

and the mountain lion that thundered

across our porch, almost catching

our smelly cat, who keeps littering the lawn

with squirrel tails and hollow bones.


my own weak and carnivorous

constitution has given me the opportunity

to sit down today, stop, look around

and listen — witness the world

outside my window — victim of a bad egg,


no doubt a good egg, a lucky egg,

a rotten lottery ticket claimed

to put me here, right now, in this sweet

flitting moment — a breathtaking

plunge that opens my eyes.


Mark Gibbons

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