1. Redwing Blackbird

    Feet firmly perch
    thinnest stalks, reeds, bulrush.
    Until all at once, they attend my
    female form, streaked throat, brownness.

    Three fly equidistant
    around me, flashing.
    Each, in turn, calls territorial
    trills, beckons ok-a-li, ok-a-li!

    Spreads his wings, extends
    inner muscle quivering red
    epaulet bands uniquely bolden.

    Turn away each suitor,
    mind myself my audience.
    Select another to consider,
    He in turn quiver thrills.

    Leave for insects.
    Perhaps one male follows.
    Maybe a few brood of young,
    line summertime.

    Silver Maple samaras
    wing wind, spread clusters
    along with mine, renewing Prairie.

    As summer closes, I leave
    dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies,
    mosquitoes, moths, spiders, crickets for

    grain, see, Sunflower;
    join thousands to flock Sky—
    grackles, blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings—
    Swarming like distant smoke clouds, rising.


    By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke