Bird in Hand
by Beau Boudreaux


A swallow nests on my deck
in a pot of geraniums, she shifts, flashes

her forked tail revealing two walnut-sized eggs—
we stare at each other, beady-eyed

and hungry, like a child I wish to touch her,
juggle her eggs but I leave them alone…

I’ve shown her off, but have grown to leave
the feathered carpetbagger undisturbed,

I await the hatching, hopefully
she makes two swallows—

then you came back, as only a temptress
could—chestnut-eyed, trim telling me

I’m not the type to commit,
it hardly matters if my whole spring

is ruined by our conversation like a crumpled
napkin or the dry snap of a purse closing.

As any knavish woman with intent
of one moment, your contentment in the next—

I never guessed you hold me fast there, our
rudimentary impression of men with women

like the spin of false suns, or
the doubtful weight of morning

preparing to sail away again
as the swallow leaves its chicks in the wettest rain.






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