A Cruel Winter


They execute the law that’s everywhere,
These birds that come to take our seeds and crumbs.
They don’t deserve this food; they haven’t earned it.
They claim no right, no customary share.
They swoop and flutter down and take what comes.
They hop and stop and peck it, jab it, grab it.

These are the beasts of air who visit us,
Exhibiting their natural neglect
Of all proprieties to do with food,
And, leaving earth and us, leave us with this:
That we who are heavy with what we expect
Have not the burden of their gratitude.

Frank Dux