Suet cakes hang in cages outside the living room windows.
The cats hang out on their perches to see
what will take the bait.
The regulars come right on time: sparrows
in bunches and clusters chased away en masse by
blue jays and bully starlings
who then fuss each other off and on again;
later, the pair of woodpeckers, male and
female, each upon their own feeder,
and always nuthatches on the ground
taking the seeds dropped
from all that racket above.
When the squirrel comes and dangles upside down
from the cage, dragging out
bits and pieces of fat and corn,
I get up and bang on the glass to no avail.
The cats watch all this without apparent emotion;
I call it Cat TV.
Later I hit the couch and turn on Tony TV
with the evening news of famine and feast,
of crumbs falling from the racket above,
where the bullies take and take
with little care for the noise from those
who seek to drive them off.
I like birds better. At least when they’re satisfied
they fly away. I like squirrels better.
They get what they need and go.
I dig cats the most. They get bored
with the struggle and find better
things to do somewhere else
while I sit here going mad watching the world go mad
for fat and scraps, and though I know
I could do more, I don’t, and I can’t look away.