NoŽl SweeneyFrom

Animal Rights Poetry By Lee Slonimsky

The Decimal System

The bird's unknown but not her math: you hear
a slow progression in these deep fir woods,
a tentative few notes and then, more clear,
crescendos up to ten. Full stops. You brood
on such precision in the midst of tumble,
storm-sundered trunks, cracked branches' droop, the swirl
of winds. Some other trills may vary, lull,
rise high. But ten-birdís perfect as the curl
of clouds around a single shaft of light
that arrows onto her tall perch. She's big,
black-feathered, with a scarlet tinge. At night,
her flight must leave red streaks, this larklike crow.

Ten fingers, toes, you ponder: on your log.
A harmony of digits, chirps. They tug
at you, these many things youíll never know.


© Lee Slonimsky, 2023


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