Tree of Birds
by T.L. Stokes
From vast paths unlit and mysterious
I am pulled back to the water planet,
back to slim light reaching under the window,
back to the sound of a thousand broken songs--
black wings crowded into one old alder
on the edges of the field.
My eyes are sleepy. White curtain drawn
away from the window, crouched and curious,
I watch the birds. Hundreds of wings carpet
the upper stretch of old black arms.
The crow family tries to scare them off,
they all sing louder. A busy roar. A squirrel
travels along dark highways, I can't even hear
him. The alpacas, soft and elegant, stare.
I lie on a pillow at the window, snapping photos
upside down. Loud birds in their monstrous flock
sing and chatter for a long while. Then a handful,
scatter away from the tree's head. Like pepper into
empty space. Then another handful. Over and over
they shake themselves away. I have a picture, of
the last one, what is his name--
what door did he close
when they had all flown away?
because she sees magic