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THE DINER
 

As I sat in my living room eating, 
out of the periphery of my right eye 
the white-cuffed, fanned tails of a pair of doves 
rebuffed the air and landed below the feeders 
that hang from the branches of my front tree.

On the ground they were ushers at a wedding 
in gray morning coats with black spots on the tails. 
They would take a couple of persnickety 
paces, rock their heads to the grass, and eat 
the husks of sunflower seeds on the ground.

Already there were several red-winged blackbirds 
pecking with the same, short stiff stabs and steps-
their startling red and yellow epaulets 
showing from their black funereal wings. 
(I was hungry to give them some meaning.)

As they peacefully grazed, the spectacular 
yellow and dusty gold bodies and black wings 
of four goldfinches arrived in a flutter-
their feet and bills built for the tiny perches 
and apertures of a thistle feeder-

a family of aerialists in a circus-
diversity composed within a few feet. 
Looking out of my kitchen window last year, 
for maybe ten seconds, like a strand of DNA, 
I saw a brown creeper spiraling up a tree.
 
 

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