WHAT I STUDY
Hundreds of dowitchers
poke the mud
with bills like fat pens.
What are they writing
with their desire
all through the long
afternoon? A hawk
strops his beak
on a sturdy branch,
energy. The dunes seem
dusted with cinnamon.
The dark slips upward.
I want to lie down
in the waves, my arms
sweeping out wings.
In the nightfall, ink
overwrites black ink.
A rushing sound strikes your ears
like a conductor audibly sniffing,
cueing a downbeat. Yellow birds
bend bare branches, squandering beauty.
Please research the evening grosbeak,
that fat-beaked charmer. Look up
in all books: ictus, imminence.
True, a woman in an old bathrobe
curses her dog, a humbled mat
of penitence. But you’re splashing
forward, afloat on a blazing
confluence. The dog moans,
and you can comfort him. Then
call a bird to his owner’s gate.
Barbara Daniels's Rose Fever: Poems was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Moon Kitchen, Black Sails, and Quinn & Marie by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships for her poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and earned an MFA in poetry at Vermont College. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, The Literary Review, and many other journals.