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Birds in Passage


by Louis Daniel Brodsky

Endless December

Repeat themselves like timepieces machined to
Know the same twenty-four hours each new day.

People are piteous leaves that become unattached
In graceless eventides bestowed by evil seasons,
Rise on vagrant eddies to fly back up to trees,
Irretrievable for an unreasonable natural law.

Returning to my trap lines, set out last spring,
I find captured myriad feeble strays, nameless
Even in species,
                          identification tags rotted away,
Strays with disease, crippled, maimed in spirit,
Whose pursuit would discredit a lame vagabond.

Something within infinity paces inside of me,
Chasing reason like a cow running precariously
To free the butterfly fastened to its dry nose
And squeeze it underfoot.
                                         I leap onto a rainbow
To see the earth below slowly gathering momentum
As it flows away,
                          then throw myself to that sea.


All previously published in prestigious journals, magazines, and anthologies, the twenty-seven pieces in Birds in Passage weave broad images of the Midwestern heartland and Floridian coast with intimate moments from the life of a husband, father, poet, and businessman, to form an immensely satisfying offer of Brodsky's finest early work.

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