“A Great-Tailed Grackle Goes Dancing in Austin, TX” by Jane Beal


You had clearly left the river
that flows through downtown Austin
on the other side of the hotels.

No need for the bridge, of course –
you just flew to your favorite bake shop
and plunked down where the music was playing.

Through the speakers above you, that music
came down like early morning sunlight,
and you waddled in time to its rhythm:

your brown-hooded head bobbing
left and right, your feet dancing, side to side,
your black wings tucked in as you tucked in

to more sweet crumbs on the sidewalk:
happy, honky-tonk, round and robust,
a cute little fatty, a ladybird in a good mood –

O, that golden eye, shining bright
on one side of your light-hearted head!
I take the memory of you, hustling to that music,

home with me, sweet Texas pea,
great-hearted grackle-ma’am,
like a harmony woven into the melody!




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