by Nathan Julian

    A tribe of  birds gather, drab, on my neighbor's roof.
    Clawing shingled ledges, they squat single file
    on  power lines, in the gut of a morning fog.
    Furtively, the fowls scatter like a winged cluster-bomb
    at the alert of a squirrel's frantic scampering;
    making cats, framed in window prisons, mad
    with chattering angst and spasmodic tail gestures.

    The sky-dwellers sink in globular rank;
    feathery filings of iron urged
    earthward to magnetic ground,
    hunting manufactured fescue grass seed.  
    Gorging themselves on fanatic pursuits
    for pride-spawned, plush lawn contests,
    they are slanderers of horticultural integrity;
    the prey bird of yard work and vegetable husbandry.

    The squadron of hollow-boned, short tailed kites
    maintains a frenzied beak feast as it surveys
    all lots along the perimeter of the culdesac.
    Like lawn locusts aiming to plague a grassy crop,
    their swarm falls faster; descending quick of flap
    and squawking in sharp poultry laughter.
    An ornithological food orgy begins
    as scaley feet merely scathe the tops of low foliage.
    They stalk worms and grubs oozing fat with muddy protein,
    but gather no seed; for none has been spread over
    my clovered yard, thick with chickweed and dandelion.
    Every night the neighbors pray their grass will grow.

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