Red-Winged Blackbird

Here you are again, on the chain-link fence.
It’s the same every day as I pass by
heading home—you perched there.
Are you waiting for someone?
Do you, like me, wonder what’s next?

I’m often on the fence. Each day
I pray for success for my six children.
I can’t rest until they’re on their own,
thriving. My wife is the same.
We keep our eyes on hope.

Blackbird, you neither sow nor reap,
nor gather into barns. Do you question,
each day, how you will feed your family?

People urge me to write a will.
It’s inevitable, but I feel responsible
and want to be here for them. I still talk
to my parents and am pretty sure they listen.

I don’t know if you, blackbird, contemplate
these things each day like me.
I’ll swing by again tomorrow.

Tom Donlon

Tom Donlon lives with his wife and children in Shenandoah Junction, WV. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the American University in 1984. He was awarded a chapbook, Peregrine, in 2016 from a book contest sponsored by the Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH. Poems have appeared in many journals, newspapers, and anthologies. Recognition has included Pushcart Prize nominations and a fellowship from the WV Commission on the Arts.

The Air is Full