Every day

beneath this maple

there’s a yellow-eyed bird

who batters the side mirror

of today’s parked car.
The vehicle changes

make, model–

dusty green or frosted silver

red rover or purple ute–

no matter,

that beak bruises on.
You may pass by,

bemused, reassured

that the only unassailable enemy

is our own unrecognised

reflection.
That may be so. And perhaps

too

our rest

is only ever

a nest, temporary–

no matter how tightly twigged

no matter how valiantly defended–

a hollow

where we crouch, nocturne

for sunrise to yank anew

the gossamer cord

that we tighten

again

and again

and again

dazed, yet never quite bleeding,

only exhausting our bones

enough

to keep believing

that it’s our own wild whack,

our own scuffling scratch

our own furious flap

that keeps terror

temporarily

at bay.

That may be so. Although
what will you ever truly see

through the red-tinged rage

of another life’s lids?