City Birds

They spit sunflower seeds and scratch the black
wet-all-winter earth, darkly watched
by glaring cats; if they’re stabbed with fears
and sorrows of a short fragile life

they never let on but gamely flit and peck,
flirt and court, their pea-sized hearts
thrumming with lust and hunger: Now. Now.
Street lights on at three: we’re in the egg,

the very yolk of winter’s solstice,
eating darkness while light pecks our shell,
still not ground down or blunted horribly
despite the shocking mirror;

no, Christ’s death, we’re
seven again, expecting a mystery
rabbit, Easter chocolate,
sweet white and yellow centres.

January 25, 2011