Jan Schreiber

Poet Laureate of Brookline, MA (2015-2017)  


The Birds


In the wild garden just beyond my window
the arctic cold is tightening, and the birds,
fluffed in their insulating feathers, search
in every bush and tuft of grass for seeds.
What moisture the clouds held has been wrung out
and crystalizes in the air as fine
almost invisible precipitate
that sifts but adds no thickness to the ground.

In the wild garden nothing is as it seems.
Phantoms of birds balance on branches in
the labyrinthine circuits of the brain.
But scan these runes and they will summon forth
that winter day we loved, and rose, and watched
the naked alder pulsing with hungry life.