the suet post entices all feathered stripes
and swaths. You have sown cinnamon
around it to daunt squirrels’ ravage.
In our raised beds, seed packets designate
sprouts burgeoning to a June pulse, green
whispers primed for the sprinkler’s dance.
Birdsongs testify hollow-bone glory.
Red cardinals prance garden timbers
and peer over grass. Blue-jays splash the birdbath.
Perched, wings flap atop the trellis full
of prickly vines lolling with squash and peppers.
We lament the season as morning hours pass.
Fledgling wrens nested in the gutter exalt
with jubilant song. Prepare us for their farewell,
and advise none will be lured to attend us.
Sam Barbee has a new collection, Uncommon Book of Prayer (2021, Main Street Rag). His previous poetry collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016. His poems have appeared recently Poetry South, Literary Yard, Asheville Poetry Review, and Adelaide Literary Magazine, among others; plus on-line journals American Diversity Report, Exquisite Pandemic, Verse Virtual, The Voices Project, and Medusa’s Kitchen.
He was awarded an "Emerging Artist's Grant" from the Winston-Salem Arts Council to publish his first collection Changes of Venue (Mount Olive Press); has been a featured poet on the North Carolina Public Radio Station WFDD; received the 59th Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for his poem "The Blood Watch"; and is a two-time Pushcart nominee.