Photograph from Jonrista.com‘To a Red-Winged Black Bird on the Advent of Spring’ and Other Poetry by Reid McGrath The Society April 26, 2017 Beauty, Culture, Humor, Poetry 6 Comments To a Red-Winged Black Bird on the Advent of Spring For some a robin heralds in the Spring. Others: a crocus or a daffodil. My old man claims it’s when nightchirpers sing. The farmer cites the rain, the barnyard rill. I sense it when the maple-lines come down; when pruning-ladders rise upon Fern Hill. I sense it when the buds begin to crown; but in completion it is not until I see you perched upon a cattail-reed; the reed, against your ebony, horse-brown. The handsomest of birds, you seem to bleed from daring deeds of triumph and renown. Alone, among these humble reeds, you’re mellow, with epaulettes of red and goldish-yellow. A Story for Couples in Shock Mary Decker was endowed with lush fertility. She added nine small young ones to her husband’s family tree. Over the years, she grew quite large. She was a splendid cook. The recipes which filled her head could have comprised a book. After the ninth small young one she had really had enough. She confronted her husband as he took a pinch of snuff. “I’m getting tied. I’ve had enough of diapers and the rest.” Her husband was subservient, wearing his Sunday best. She visited the doctor who was a stout Catholic man. (This was back in the fifties.) “I will do all that I can,” he told her ere he tied her tubes but not so tightly that in nine more months there was a baby underneath her fat. She couldn’t tell. The pregnancy was the ectopic kind. The baby could not move around. Thus poor Mary was blind to what would lay before her (or on top of her) so soon. She went into the hospital as full as a balloon. “Appendicitis,” she had said, suffering from labor cramps. They put her under to find out. The room was bright with lamps. Think of what it’d do to you if you woke up to find a crying baby on your breast! I think you’d lose your mind. Mary Decker was in shock. “That baby isn’t mine.” It took three months but Mary loved that baby in good time. Thank God we are not rabbits; and although at first we’re scared besides the Mary Deckers. There’s nine-months to get prepared. Reid McGrath lives and writes in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Sally Cook April 27, 2017 Good work! Reply ben grinberg April 27, 2017 in reading your blog i found a couple phrases that really too my breathe in the same way as this poem: In writing about homesteading and working on my property I feel like the man who cheats with his mistress in his wife’s house I once had the opportunity to establish a relationship with an Amish family in Ohio. I was amazed to see the efficiency of their agricultural enterprises. Reply David Hollywood April 27, 2017 Gosh! Such different poems and each with a unique quality. The Red Winged Black Bird I yearned for its arrival.Lovely. Whereas Couples in Shock was wonderfully plotted – so structured it was almost the setting for a script and stage performance. Tense! Thank you for both. Reply Wendy Bourke April 28, 2017 I enjoyed these 2 diverse pieces – though both share a wonderful rhyme and cadence and are cleverly sketched. Good writing! Reply Michelle Simon May 1, 2017 The first poem is nice. But for me the second was even better. Maybe, because it tells a story…I don’t know. In any case, I don’t believe I could have told the same kind of story so poetically, had I months to try. Good work! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant November 9, 2020 Exquisite and an absolute privilege to read. Thank you! We’ve got plenty of redwing blackbirds in Texas, and isn’t the difference in coloration between the male and female amazing?! They love the rice fields down here. In the UK (my homeland) our blackbirds aren’t blessed with a colorful wing… I’m besotted with the birds here… I’m seeing new ones every week! 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