Seven Robins

It's the weather
they try to rest from.

It's as much January they
stiffen their wings against
as the wind.

The birds don't fly
in this weather, rather.
they thow themselves
to the distance
and rest in the trees.

The dogwood, its premature
buds choked in snow,
presses these seven birds
against blowing sky;
it offers only a cold perch
and an iron rim of snow.

It's the weather I try
to rest from while I count
the birds on three,
and the number they are
holds them there.

In a flash and tangle
of wings, two dart away,
but two burst in from the south
and they are complete again.

The snow marks every tree.
Rattling down from the upper
branches it frightens
three more birds toward the dogwood
and three fly away.

The number they are
hold them there.

It is only an hour later
I think to look again:
and of course they have all left
in the winds that have brought on
more snow.

Copyright © Neile Graham, 1983. All rights reserved.
Previously published in Seven Robins and The Fiddlehead.

Sample poems

From Blood Memory

(at The Alsop Review): Story 1 § Sleeping With Lambs § Furious § The Basement Exit § Paper Rock Scissors Stone Water Air § Storyteller Talking At The End of Her Days § You Designed the Map § Ravenous § Tuppence in Pocket § Sheela-na-Gig § A Course in Sadness

(here onsite): The Skin of our Teeth § Woman at the Edge of the World

From Spells for Clear Vision

My Grandmother's Photograph § Washing at Sunset § Midfire § Hero at the Gates of Hell

From Seven Robins

Heart of Stone § November Arrives on the Coast § Seven Robins § Sky is that Moment § St. Maudlin (La Folle)

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