It's the birds on the high power lines that tell me. The
song is about nothing more than the possibility of being
fried alive at any moment. Or it could be the tunes of the
frenzied crows mobbing the Cooper's hawk: you only think
you’ve got the numbers. It's not always the melody of
chickadee cloud chirping directions at one another or
courting cardinals on branches. There's a chant for the BB
gun and the drop out of the sky. There's this almost
choral riff for the threat of being road-kill or fuselage
fodder. There's arias of the robbed nest, fugues for the
blood-red claws of night owls. There's concertos we don’t
hear: flute solos played by winter wind in hollow bones
or trembling counterpoints of broken wings and oil-soaked
feathers. Always, there's the music we must have, the
music that must have us.
John Grey has been published recently in the Georgetown Review, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Poetry East and The Pinch.