Size / / /

Last year's leaves whisper

in a foot-shuffle vortex

panic in the humus

there's a monster in soil city

bird eye head-cock alert

for an unwary meal

but something's in the wind

crows know

a bird flaps heavily away

a Change is coming

they always know and

they remember, keep their heads

through what for us is a strange oblivion

a crackle, a stirring in the wisteria

a moment of vertigo

a pause to gather lost thoughts

you slowly lower your binoculars

how long has that bird

been watching you?

David C. Kopaska-Merkel won the 2006 Rhysling Award for a collaboration with Kendall Evans, edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine, and has edited Star*Line and several Rhysling anthologies. His poems have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. A collection, Some Disassembly Required, winner of the 2023 Elgin Award, is available from him at
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