by Michael Waterson
Whooshing past my ear on my sunup walk,
a mockingbird mimics a bird of prey.
As the bogus raptor whirls for a second swoop
at my head, my thoughts fly to augury.
If we matter to the gods, the Stoics said,
they drop us subtle signs to know their will.
I’ve wondered at starling murmurations
that seem cursive hints of a higher hand.
But how can my skeptical eye throw light on
fleeting glyphs penned by irate fluttering?
Perhaps this omen mocks my parroted songs,
featherweight intellect and flighty psyche,
or imparts portent from those dear departed
I soon will join beneath the grassy hill.
I don’t roost long in aerie clairvoyance
before learning grounds my alary alarm:
This is no dispatch from the sky that I
have run afoul of some affected deity,
no prophet from a Plutonian shore.
She’s a brooding, ruffled mother, egged on
by my lumbering, unintended menace,
a judgement even Marcus Aurelius’
unflappable flock might land on.
Though now demystified, my oracle
lifts my spirit with her audacity,
her affirmation of life’s buoyancy,
a pedestrian presentiment I gloss
as auspices this fledgling morning.
Michael Waterson is a retired journalist originally from Pittsburgh PA. His career includes stints as a seasonal firefighter, San Francisco taxi driver and wine educator. He earned an MFA from Mills College. His work has appeared in numerous online and print journals, including California Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest and The Bookends Review. His information may be found at: michaelwatersonpoetry.com.