January 28, 2013

The Territory


(for Robert Frost)

No bigger than a housecat,
a small gray roadrunner has adopted our neighborhood.
Almost any morning, I can spot him.
Sometimes up the road a bit,
turned towards the sun with his feathers spread apart, warming up,
or just bouncing from our fence to our roof,
then over the top and down to the other fence
that keeps our lot separate from our neighbor's.

I wonder if he recognizes me,
knows how I know his colors: 
the red and white stretched out from behind his eyes like mascara
how I recognize his stuttered step,
his head ducked down so his beak is the first thing impacted
on anything that doesn't get out of his way.

Strange how the cats don't seem to bother him,
and I wonder what he eats,
and whether I should spread some bird seed on the wall.

My neighbor and I exchange pleasantries
and stay in our respective territories--
a smaller part of his territory--a neighborhood in the middle of the city.




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