“Birdy Told Me” – Poetry by Frederick Pollack

Passenger Pigeon - John J. Audubon, 1838
Passenger Pigeon – John J. Audubon, 1838

We often wonder whether animals are smarter and sneakier than they let on. And after reading  “Birdy Told Me,”  the poem by Frederick Pollack from our Summer issue, we’re almost convinced that they must be.

{ X }

they know people know how they suffer
yet do nothing; maybe
(they think) we’d do better
running individual scams.
Crows get tips from pigeons on ledges
on Wall Street, at race-tracks,
exchange them for carrion. Raccoons
promise to police your rain-gutters,
guard your house; eventually
they sell protection. (Dogs keep
their mouths shut, except when eating.) Deer
set up as gurus. They’re so cute and can do
charisma. Are one with all life, with
the Goddess, they say. Whoever
shoots one of us or runs one of us down
will burn. In every city or town
there is within easy distance a vacant
lot or patch of weeds beside
a road. Sit in it, say the deer, sit
long enough in the center of the weeds
and you will be made whole and purified.

{ x }

fredpollackFREDERICK POLLACK is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press.  Other poems in print and online journals.  Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University. Poetics: neither navelgazing mainstream nor academic pseudo-avant-garde.


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