Standing Along the Channel

Standing along the channel

watching pro bass fishers

ply their trade in search of

fifty thousand dollars and

 

a new bass boat, he heard

the man ask his two sons

if they had seen the red

breasted nuthatch. He

 

looked but saw nothing

in the fall foliage. He

thought of the grey

catbird, which had flown

 

into a downstairs window,

had snapped its neck

and had remained unseen

for what the man guessed

 

were weeks because of

where it landed and because

its color was dingy like

the gray of the cement.

 

He flipped it over with

a shovel and it boiled

with ravenous maggots

planted by parental flies

 

to eat and grow.

He flipped it onto the

shovel and tossed the

carcass and the maggots

 

into the weeds and dune

grass in the depression behind

the pine grove. He wondered

if the catbird had had a

 

partner and maybe a nest

and perhaps a brood of

baby catbirds who, by

then, had stopped waiting.

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