It Was So Easy To Be A Bird by Dan O’Connell

It was so easy to be a bird.
I lived on the outskirts of the city
in a tall, top-crooked tree not far
from a field of corn.  In winter,
I raided garbage bins for bread
and found seeds scattered on the snow
as if left just for me.  My wings
took me to rooftops with splendid views
and to wires that swung in the wind.
It was so easy to be a bird.

It was so easy to be a bird, though
people think it must be a constant
struggle to survive, but after rain
it’s no work at all to find a worm
and my body and mind were hard-wired
for patience and the berry’s bloom.
It was so easy to be a bird.

It was so easy to be a bird
but still I worried about cats as soon as
I touched the ground, and shotguns and
slingshots and I never got used to cars.
In spring, I was never quite sure I
built my walls well enough to withstand
storm and squirrel and neighborhood kids,
but it should have been easy to be a bird.

It should have been easy to be bird
but after my nest with three perfect eggs
fell as if – it seemed – for no reason at all
I never recovered and chirped
incessantly that the sky was
full of satellites
that could track a beeper on the feather
of a tail and target any place on earth
with smart winds and who knows what
designed to shake our homes apart.
I knew the government geese were lying.
It wasn’t very easy to be a bird.

It wasn’t very easy to be a bird.
As a man, I can’t say things are any better
or worse, or the same, but I’ve been diagnosed.

dan-oconnell
Dan O’Connell is a four-time award winning poet whose work has appeared regularly in small and large publications since 1986, most recently Big Bell Magazine (2016) and America Magazine (Foley Poetry Prize, 2015). Dan O. is a former Philosophy and Rhetoric professor. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he has his own law practice and occasionally teaches law.

 

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