By Patricia Peterson
Souvenir of a Time
here on the edge
where the sky is green against
the lake turned silver at the rim
Clara strolls, mittened and muffled
a crumpled letter darts the breeze
the geese high up are still
and a few honey locust leaves
hold on tight
to these last moments
Big robin in the driveway
walks along the side as I drive in,
Waddles really, maybe because he’s fat—
Overstuffed, it seems to me.
Or is he ill?
This bird’s the first robin of spring.
No doubt he’s tired out from showing up
Here and there across the country at a time
When everyone is looking for good news.
But look, he is not young.
If he has the virus . . . well,
He’s not a candidate for a respirator
Or even a reasonably located bed In a reasonably accoutered hospital
or quonset hut.
And if he’s triaged, how to ease him out?
Make a little bed of my favorite shoebox
And place it next to the Yard Waste can?
I have a little morphine tucked away. Coat a worm with it?
It will be important to keep him away
From the little ones
And more important even
To keep them fed.
We don’t want them fighting over whatever flies are left.
Two separate policies are clearly needed.
Nourishing supplies: seed and crunchy
bugs for the flock
And for this old fellow birdsong, and a feather nest.
We’ll make him comfortable
As he prepares for the really big, big flight.
My poetry has previously been published in EOAGH and the Barton Chronicle. I am also the author of several micro-press chapbooks, including Not Bad, Bangor and Who’s on Charge Here? Until recently I have been content to give my poems to friends but the virus has urged a different approach. And it has certainly urged the making of things—many things from bread (mine is not worth applauding), to shower curtains, and of course each day, poems.