Dark Birds, White World
Tracy Youngblom

Dark Birds, White World

the ground is strewn
with remnants of a feast:
seed hulls and chaff
darken, flatten snow
under feeders where a pair
of juncos hop and glean,
while above them, sparrows
the color of river water
and nuthatches grayed
by morning light ride
the conveyor of hunger
to the feeder and back
to eat, preen in the trees.
slant of early sunlight
ricochets off snow, blinds
me, so i don't know if the streak
of red i sense rather than see
out of my left eye
is a cardinal scouting
for a chance to feed alone
or a simple reminder:
the world is torn, even
in its beauty,
and bleeds.

Tracy Youngblom

is the author of Growing Big: Poems, which was published in 2013. She was a 2014 finalist for the Loft-McKnight Awards in Poetry and a former Pushcart nominee. Her poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Wallace Stevens Journal, New York Quarterly, neat mag, Dogwood, Great River Review, Naugatuck River Review, Animal, and other magazines. She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband, son, and a very spoiled dog named Maisie.