Spring Poem

Summer, 2006 / No. 16

May 1st

The night after aloo gobi and chicken korma

at the Red Rose, I was informed my stomach

made surprising noises—songs it had never sung before.

“Incomprehensible to some,”

I trilled, “last night I was dreaming in Hindi!”

And the thrillows sang on behind the blinds.

“Are those sparrows, Bird Poet? ” I was asked

after minutes of listening.

“Despairos? ” I said, in unmodulated credulity,

or modulated incredulity. “Why despairo?

Those are the young enthusiastic children

of jaded conservative parents.”

They were not the nagging jay who joined us last week,

so handsome and angry and mean

(his very name the root of jail; his voice

a fork on a plate, the screech of a taxi brake).

My second sighting, he buzzed an old sleep-drunk squirrel

clambering down the trunk of the maple out front.

Welcome back forsythia—welcome thrillows and

despairos, pigeons, wood doves, squeaky bikes,

bikes whose seats need raising. Welcome crowded bike posts:

now we’ll lock a block away.

Welcome needy grass, magnolia litter.

Welcome squirrels. Welcome jay.