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Sunday, June 02, 2024


by Michael Brockley

Photo by Amy Volovski at Birds&Blooms.

The cardinals nesting in the barberry bush beneath my bedroom window work together as if they have fledged many chicks during their brief lives. The mother, dusty brown and patient, approaches her chicks through aerial feints. And by hopping from lower branches to the upper fork where the hatchlings await the spiders and crickets she delivers. The scarlet male darts and barrel rolls toward its forage with what I pretend is pride. 

Soldiers were once children in such a hurry to fly. I was such a boy aiming toy bazookas and sniper rifles at Lincoln Log forts under siege. Now I celebrate the appetites of five hungry gullets, hoping the chicks survive the neighbor cat’s overnight prowls. If I can’t protect the spring’s latest brood, how can I save the children of Jerusalem and Rafah.

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in The Parliament Literary Journal, Stormwash: Environmental Poems, and Barstow and Grand. Poems are forthcoming in Of Rust and Glass, Ryder Magazine, Otherwise Elsewhere Literature and Arts Journal, and The Prose Poem