Blackbirds envelop the green grass
across the street
early in the morning,
moving together in a cluster of fluttering wings.
I shift my position in bed
to gain a better view,
now squatting and looking out the window
as the dark wave gains a new tide
and comes shrieking and soaring as one blanket mass
straight toward me.
For a brief moment I fear
the yawning grave is finally calling me
back to the dust, dirt and ash
from whence I once came,
but then, in unison, the wave breaks,
the aggressive wings grow calm, and
the swarm settles down
as it lands now in my front yard.
I exhale and smile.
The beauty of chaos shifts
as order is reclaimed in my respite –
the reaper has granted my reprieve;
and though I know he will surely
one day come hunting for me,
whether it be with a merle of blackbirds,
a murder of crows,
a wake of vultures,
or one-on-one, all alone, with his scythe in hand,
at least for now I can lay back
safely and soundly in my warm bed,
knowing that while I dream about the future,
it will be the worms, outside in the cold,
that serve as today’s sacrifice to the cycle.