This morning I watched my neighbors

departing for work. Starlings

snatch red stars from the dogwood tree.

At dusk they return, compacts and minivans

up and down the block, toting

tool kits, briefcases, children, groceries.

All day, I haven't strayed

ten yards from this birch wood desk

red stars, yellow beaks,

trying to true the mind's wavering,

prodding and pruning with my pen,

hoping to soothe six brief blue lines

of poetry, to get them to breathe.

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