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Our windows are flung open

to air full of promiscuous arias

from feathered beings hopping

the leafless, monolithic, barked edges

when, a murder of crows swoop in

to steal the hanging, gooey suet,

then lift away, black and ragged,

mouths full and dripping.

Fearful and disturbing news

to seed-seeking juncos and

great-tailed pecking grackles

sent off to the branches

bending in the swirling wind.

Starry eyes glare.

Beaks stand open in alarm.

They wait in illustrous silence,

then become a quiet storm

of downy wings that flutter

back to pearly ground.

Still, the air that flows into this room

is filled with quiet courage,?

full of sensual stirrings?

in this essential season?

about to burst?

in defiance?against the surley sky.

Let us suffer one more day here

to watch the willows redden

beside grey cottonwoods.

Let us smell the softening?

of hard brown earth?under old snow.?

The ragged edges smoothed

by change once more.

Laurie James 2009