One Way of Looking at Thirteen Blackbirds

with a tip of the hat to Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

is to go

from seeing them as thirteen discrete
negotiators around the birdbath
determining whose turn it is now
and whose it will be next

to seeing them as one continual
splash of water seeking its own level
and dripping over the edge to
sunbathing grass below, water
already on its way to becoming
white cloud puffs above —
one up there presently that looks
just like Wallace Stevens
focusing on the scene down here,
and then another, smaller cloud
speech-ballooning from his mouth
declaring, “FROM UP HERE IT’S

Selected byJenn Zed
Image credit:Balint Szajki

I was born in Kansas near a wheat field and a crow. After graduating from college, I moved east in search of tall trees and high humidity. I sampled the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions before finding the Southeast most to my liking. There I met the loves of my life, Bronia and the children we gave birth to, Bud and Ruby. At the University of South Carolina, I was fortunate to step into a lovable career in ESL teaching and teacher training. Since retiring in 2011, I’ve focused on caregiving my parents and furthering my writing practice. My indie poetry books include Recipes for Gratitude, Flowers Grow Wild, Full Moon Story Night, and Aaliyah on the Road.