In the field of dead Johnson grass,
The red-winged blackbird landed.
It swayed the desert-colored stalks
With its weight, then held its place.
Like a swollen tick plucked from a dog
Then dropped, it did not move.
From this distance, I could not see
What suspended it there, what attraction.
Remember when I told you no,
I became that tightrope walker
Because I said yes to someone else
And yes in a different way to another.
The blackbird holds strong in the wind.
The grass’s poison isn’t harmful to birds.
Maybe it’s checking its balance
Against the stiff reeds, toughening up.
I keep watching to see how long
It will last. Is it trapped? No. It turns
Completely around. This way of being
Is not new to it. It will not falter.