Failing Wings

near Nevada, Iowa

Puddle from the storm just past.
Fecund mud quivering into clover,
young tender thistles learning to grasp.

Dim clinging memory avoids the inevitable spreading heat,
drought from fearsome altered skies, drought
from a gilded cradle of leadership in dotage
and also losers, like
a redwing blackbird we see
perched for the brief moment of his flute solo.

The bird sits on a barbed wire fence,
enforced separation – a wall of strands –
at the dry edge of a green sward,

bucolic interlude between West Indian Creek
and the soybean farm plowed under this summer,
for sale to some underbidding conglomerate next year.

Blackbird pays its hungry attention,
such attention as he allows
to human pretension –

to a plowed crop of new debt
instantly forgotten by the great one who nevertheless loves his farmers
momently from and between his Federal mental lapses,

practiced, unpracticed, practiced, dispracticed –
the tutored praxis of a senile megalomanic and

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.