on the winter wire

each afternoon
as the shadows of middle-winter fell
to fade the day
the first little black birds
would arrive to settle in
on the wire

in ones and twos they came
jostling and chirping
the entire flock
socializing in the encroaching dusk

an overcoated man watched them
from across the street
fascinated by their habits and ways
often speculating to himself
about what might be communicated
through their chatter

he took to idly directing his thoughts
towards them as he watched
urging a particular idea
for this bird or that to say

why don’t you flap your wings

to the one beside it

another time

you leap in the air
and land again

he laughed to himself when he realised
what he was doing
but persisted
for the fun of it

he stamped his foot against the cold one day
just as he thought at the birds

move away
on the wire

when he glanced again at the flock
a space had appeared
and one of the birds had moved

that night
he dreamed of a line of power
almost transparent
like an electricity
running from his foot when it stamped
conveying his thought to the bird

conversation and shock
to move the bird

the next evening
only two birds came
and when he stamped his foot toward them
when they flew off immediately
he nodded sagely to himself

truth is truth
power is truth

he did not know
could not tell
what causes birds to decide
where they will roost for the night
but he was certain that this flock
would not return again
to that winter wire

© Frank Prem, 2008


2 thoughts on “on the winter wire

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