Poem of the week: While Walking in the Armstrong Woods

A new work by John FitzGerald

John FitzGerald

John FitzGerald

 

Mischief in the branches high above –
no, worse than mischief: the fell scream
of a marauder, a victim’s strangled cries
in a life and death struggle we both
stop to imagine from below. I take in
your singlet-flattened chest, tanned
neck, golden hair, the earnest angle
of your head, and a small grey chick’s
feather floating past to land unseen
on your shoulder. I wait for you to act –
shake, itch, brush off the burden,
until I realize this, after all, after all the waiting,
is the real world, the here and now,
the unexceptional quiddling it.

Today’s poem is from John FitzGerald’s debut collection, The Time Being (Gallery Books, June 2021)