Ron Houchin

Winter Landscape with Bird Trap
October 22, 2019 Houchin Ron

Winter Landscape with Bird Trap

(Pieter Brueghel, the Elder)

Only sparrows fly down, crows wait in treetops.
We spend a lifetime arriving at each moment
like birds alighting on snow.

Pushing out on the frozen river, we know any one
of us may crack the spine, splinter the surface,
yet we each arrive, hopeful crocus

in late February, and glide on. Another sparrow
lands, on the trapped door, another darts under
for seed. What is it darkness feeds us?

What fills our wits with its pluck, like little hoppers
about the scattered seeds, shadowed by broad door
set up on a wicket stick, string running

into the square, black window at which each bird
glances, only to return to the promise of manna
under the wood shadow on snow?

Ron Houchin is a retired public school teacher who has eight books of poetry, one of short stories published, and a horror novel, The Devil’s Trill, which came out from Main Street Rag press in April of 2017.  His work has been awarded an Appalachian Book-of-the-Year award for poetry and the Weatherford Award for poetry.  His new volume, Planet of the Best Love Songs came out from Salmon Poetry of Ireland in February, 2017.  He lives on the banks of the Ohio River across from his hometown Huntington, WV.