Michelle Maher – Two Poems

Seven Muscadines

Cross-trainers squelch across sleek, wet asphalt.
From a mantle of mist, diminutive droplets come to rest
On hat, jacket, and skin.
At just the right moment, each tiny orb finds its place;
I shimmer.
Then there are too many–I’m just damp all over.

The ducks at the pond waddle through wet grass
in search of breakfast worms.
A sentinel heron standing at the water’s edge
silently takes flight as I slog past.
Overhead, Canadian geese fly in arrowhead formation,
honking and heading South like old geezers on I-95 migrating to Florida for winter.

A light drizzle does not deter me from breaking my fast –
Wild muscadine vines hang from tall pines like Rapunzel’s tower-tossed tendrils.
Today the moist air intensifies their syrupy scent.
Each plump purple sphere hides shyly behind its grape leaf guardian
waiting to see if it will be deemed worthy.
Like every other morning, I select seven perfectly ripened fruits.
Slip a grape between impatient lips.
I bite; it bursts.
Suck the sweet juice; spit out the seeds and skin.
One down, six more to savor.


Seeds on the Snow

Black thistle seeds dot the virgin snow beneath a naked tree.
A brilliant red cardinal, stunning against bright white,
deigns to share the feast with a flock of dull wrens.
Above, golden-feathered finches, clinging, pecking, impervious to sleet, snow, and cold,
bounce from limb to feed sock and back again.
I crunch my way closer.
Gone! Scatter! Fly into the long, strong arms of your oak guardians.

Determined, I stand my ground.
Tiny ice pellets peck at me
While the frigid air seeps through my puffy armor.
Minutes pass.

Cautiously, brave birds return and call to the timid.
I hold my breath, steady my hands,
and flinch as the camera awakens with a whine.
Again, they flee.
I become yard art.
My patience prevails!
Click, Click, Click.
The birds are mine, captured and digitized, ready for sharing on Facebook.