Perched, a red-winged blackbird watching me,
its fencepost newly staked, bark on, topside down.
At arm’s length, rusted fence pliers bounce along a span of wire.
One. Two. Three. “Hemlock, see, twists over time—”
that’s Cunningham’s voice, “stretches the wire.
Set one post wrong-way-to and it’ll sag right there.”
Came a day I read Seamus Heaney
and with newfound pride—my own name
and that red-winged blackbird there,
down Vernon River way.
Seamus Heaney wrote a fabulous poem titled St. Kevin and the Blackbird.