Dawn rain enamels the weeds
that choke my perennial garden.
Phoebes and nuthatches deploy
in search of the ripest insects.
I want to tell them how I dreamt
the stars fell out of their sockets
and sizzled in the birdbath,
but responsible for their nestlings
they haven’t time for nonsense.
Already the day’s great bell curve
has imposed itself. Cloud cover
shimmies down from the northeast
where it birthed over Nova Scotia.
I want to puncture that ego
with a rake handle, but the rain
would clatter down so heavily
it would crush me in my tracks.
Why do I have these vandal instincts?
Because the day disregards me
I want to tell the yearling bear
who troubles my bird feeders
how men and women turn cruel
in their sullen moments and hack
great rents in their private lives
to embarrass and thrill their friends.
Everyone loves the sight of blood,
even those who faint. The bear
wouldn’t listen, though, his snout
busy with sunflower seed,
his paws paddling the damp white air.
Better go indoors and towel
the rain from my hair and pretend
I’m nowhere on that bell curve,
and not tempted in the least
to drown myself in the birdbath
in place of the faded stars.
William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent books of poetry are City of Palms and June Snow Dance, both 2012. He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge