That they continue stripping tiny leaves
from the birches is not the mystery, but rather
who in this two-finch town along the Rogue
would only maim them, expertly, with arrows.
This is what an older generation might call
soft news. There is a creature, and there is
a creature’s suffering. They’re hard to distinguish.
It might have been bad aim, taken out of season.
You never hear the end of stories like these.
Nicholas Friedman is the author of Petty Theft, winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, he is also the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He lives with his wife and son in Syracuse.
Also by Nicholas Friedman (see all)
- Black Swallow-Wort - September 21, 2022
- Gravity - September 21, 2022
- Painter of Light™ - September 21, 2022