The Cardinal in my Yard

Tyler R. Martin

The cardinal in my yard won’t sing
He just stares.
He stares blankly at nothing while I stare
Blankly at him.
It’s cold in January in New York
And my grandfather’s grapevine
On which he sits is bare and branches
Shiver in the breeze.
Nothing moves in my backyard today
Aside from an infrequent neck twitch when
The cardinal hears something.
He stays very still but the bright red is
Nothing but a beacon in the dull brown
of the grape vine.
Good for getting laid, I suppose,
But a bad target nevertheless.
He puffs his feathers in the cold
And I watch him and
I think we’re both wondering the same thing,
That is:
When the predator finally comes down on you
Is that day worse than any other?
Simultaneously sicked by this thought
The cardinal flew away and I put my
Boots on to go to work.

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