141. Five Steps Into A Hard Way

The titmouse comes to the feeder,

the cardinals and the house finch.

There is the mourning dove. She lands

a branch and balances the sway with a lurch

and feather-swell. The ground feeders

industrious find seed, even in snow.

Juncos mostly, and wrens. Small, round birds.

Five steps into a hard way sparrow

you sit the rooftop. Days pile in white drifts.

The flock thins, scattering at the trouble

of thieving squirrels and larger birds. You stay

an even pitch and eye a sunbleached nest—

too exposed, you wait and gather, wait

and gather yourself, grass-weaver. There’s serum

in separation, and a portal. Sleep invisible

below the briar where the dog started

digging. Tuck your beak into a downy shoulder,

one eye bright, a hemisphere

on watch. Tomorrow’s circadian rise

will rouse you tomorrow. Tonight, sock in.

— Jennifer Jantz Estes

Jennifer Jantz Estes grew up on a farm smack in the middle of Kansas and spent many summers learning the art of solitude driving a wheat truck across the Great Plains. She writes and works for Eighth Day Books in Wichita, Kansas, but lives (rather wistful for the prairie) in Canton, Ohio, with her husband, two sons and two dogs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s