Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: At The Birdfeeder

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

This week’s poem, by Richard Foerster of Cape Neddick, features two creatures familiar to those with birdfeeders in their backyards: a bird and a cat.

At The Birdfeeder by Richard Foerster

My neighbor’s cat, all nimble
traipse and jig in his fur tuxedo,
eyes a panicked chickadee in its own
fancy dress. A squall of black
millet seeds peppers the snow-
crusted ground, where the cat freezes,
gazing toward paradise, his entire being now
hellbent on that one morsel. The bird,
though frantic flutter, is no less consumed
with want. It’s somehow managed to slip
inside the feeder, trapped itself within
that glass house of miraculous plenty,
wanting nothing but escape, while the cat
squats beneath that dwindling spillage,
content to remain there forever, if he must,
exiled with his exquisite desire.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Richard Foerster. Reprinted from Penetralia, Texas Review Press, 2010, by permission of Richard Foerster. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.