Birds Feeding In The Street

In the street, 
small birds pick
at something left
from someone’s lunch.

There are 
similar birds on 
feeders here and 
in the neighbor’s yard.

I wish I had 
more solid ground
under me than this
couch provides. 

I wish I was less inclined
to be a spectator 
and had more of the ease
with which these birds

stay in the street,
rise when a vehicle
comes through, return
to their feeding at once.

I’ve become
just another coddled old man
hovering at the window
from behind old walls.

The world exhorts me
to get out,
be part of it,
be not afraid; but

I am afraid. 
I am afraid I’ll become too wild,
soon enough be like the birds
eating from right off the street;

I’m afraid I won’t rise
from feeding when
the car comes through
and will just let it take me.

This is the way of things today,
I tell myself. Either 
lose your mind stuck to the couch
or lose it along with

the rest of your life by
getting out there and being
dirty-sad in the dirty sadness 
of a city street. 

If I die out there
everyone will know at once
that I succumbed to the hell
within. If I die here,

sitting very still,
no one will know for sure
how the last days were for me
and maybe I will go so quietly

that the birds 
will chirp my story when I’m gone:
he watched us from the window.
He did a good job of sitting there

just watching. People 
will make up their own stories
about me, picking at me
as if were posthumous trash

in the street which holds 
something to nourish them.
He saw a lot from the window.
He must have seen something that killed him.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

3 responses to “Birds Feeding In The Street

  • Eileen

    Giving up is soooo declasse! You are better than that. Blasting the state of the world suits you better.

    • Tony Brown

      Eileen — PLEASE remember that I do not write autobiographically. It’s not a diary, it’s art. In this poem, it’s a moment being described, not a mindset and frankly not even one I have very often.

    • Tony Brown

      And — it’s not even a poem about giving up. It’s about understanding that wherever and however the speaker in the poem ends up, the world will make its own judgements about him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: