(x = space)



The Bird of Alcatraz


There’s red outside

The leaves are changing

The sky is painted blue

Behind them

Maybe it’s a perfect autumn day

Not that the window panes

Are bars (I know better),

But there are so many things

In here to attend to,

And the meanness of the neighbors

Has an imprisoning effect

As well—I know, you’d think

It would drive me out as

Often as possible


Well, the car needs work

I could simply walk somewhere

I’m not feeling well

In my head or in my stomach,

And there are so many things

In here

I need the energy to manage them

How did so much accumulate?

Maybe it’s a consequence

Of being poor,

Though much of it came

From the work I used to do,

That was taken from me

Through jealousy

And worldly machination


Well, I’m here

I just exhaled

I can do that

Consciously or through

Human impulse

I hope that it continues for

A good long while

Along with the other part


I’ll wait, eat, drink something

Then get up and go


C L Couch



English teacher note

The “Birdman of Alcatraz” is a person who became the basis for a book and a film.


Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

Langley, BC, Canada

Robin on a branch.