The Common Grackle
O, Quiscalus quiscula, of the family Icteridae,
nothing too cool about you—
big brash blackbird, stiff wingbeater
driver away of Spring’s sweeter crowd—
the not-yet-golden goldfinch, the tuxedoed junco,
furtive nuthatch or tentative titmouse.
No mistaking your arrival, shrieking like a rusty gate,
stuttering your chack, chack chack as the lot of you
descend like a plague, a raucous chattering bunch
swamping the feeders, an SRO crowd on the lawn.
Like a king, you sway at treetop, your golden eyes
sweeping the horizon on the lookout
for unsuspecting beaks to rob or nests to raid,
your iridescent crown in constant motion.
I’d like to admire that glossy head, its purple sheen,
but your coloring’s an April Fool’s joke—as if someone
with a wicked humor dipped you upside down
in indigo wine, but called it quits at your shoulders,
leaving the rest of you shrouded in darkness.
Bully, bad boy of spring’s migration—
What’s to like?