“Come all ye faithful,” sang the faithful.
“Come off it,” sang the rest.
The first blackbird in months
takes up residence, his rival
a rent-controlled magpie,
Givenchy-blue slash across his wings.
The sun has sunk to a copper dome.
Outside, heavens in collapse;
inside, central heating on the blink,
radiators fizzing and clunking like conspirators.
Here and there under curtains of sleet,
buds mark the bare branches
more in hope than glory,
nubbins awaiting a June wedding.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 41 Number 9, on page 30
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com