Is the Ouzel Stupid?

I’ve been watching these ouzels hang out here in town on the same pool every January for the past few years. They don’t seem to let the weather concern them.

Is the Ouzel Stupid

Though you’ve spent
your whole life practicing,
you still don’t seem
to understand
how water works.
You aren’t supposed to
bounce that clear pool
then hop the gravel bottom
of the fastest current
like a robin on
a courthouse lawn–
or flit back
to your rock
and dip like a fat
boxer at a shadow
without arms.
Birds don’t work
that way.
Jesus, nothing works
that way.
I’d sooner believe
a small gray meatloaf
had paddled the Mississippi
to the Continental Divide.
Bring me my Polaroids.
Bring me my binoculars.
Bring me the God damned
bird book.


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