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Poetry #102
(published October 3, 2002)
My War with the Robins
by Barry Blumenfeld

Many things ravished me
Before robins ever did.
Dew. Crickets. The hallelujah
Of chlorophyll and flowers
Devoured in a last sharp gasp
Of the gloaming. Grass, of course.
I loved hiding in it, pouncing
On a hapless sprite— a hoppy bug,
A bird (lunch, my own
Green stand for salad. . .)
Or one of the magical kind.
In the supernatural case, palaver
Ensued. Oberon, Titania, Robin
Goodfellow all knew me for kin
By the shining in my eyes. That's
How I made my fortune— nine
Lives, seven-league boots, life
In the human world. One
By one, I won them from
Elves and fairies I harried
On the lawn. Fierce, feared,
Feral me— ogre of the back yard.
Sparrow fluffing in the dirt,
Bluejay on the bird bath,
Preening cardinal— none was safe.
I lounged and stretched, happy
On the warm earth. Oberon,
Hearing the birds' complaint,
Dispatched his messenger— this
Errand-boy, this passenger-pigeon,
This Puck— his charm is laughter,
A trick above my grasp. Fine
Jest, must be, to sic namesakes
On me— like harpies, squalling
Cheeps and pecks if I venture
Into my lost garden. Just because
I turned one chick, one robin, one
Simulacrum of a moulting dandelion,
To a ruin of feathers under the rose
Bush. It was an ecstatic morsel,
And what is life without some
Pleasure? I must eat. A cat
Cannot be kind.

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