Eumaeus Old and the Magpie

I thought I saw a magpie.
Came out of a pine tree.
Black and white.

What other bird
might be hereabouts
that is black and white?

I think it was black and white.
It was that fast, and the forest so thick.
Like the rest of life.

I would fly off with the black and white bird.
I would fly off with the bird that is not
black and white. That never was.

I would fly off with a bird of no color.
I would fly off with no color.
No bird.

Old age brings passive recklessness.
I ignore the name of my pilot.
Aiee Karos he seems to declare through his flames.

So he is a magpie, after all.
Brash ash-and-charcoal.
Good company for a wagtongue’s waning days.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.