Feed it to the birds–a new poem

I ate that little pack of sunflower seeds you gave me

as the train wound through the mountains

that would soon stand between us.

I ate them one by one,

not beginning on the next

until I’d swallowed all of the prior.

It didn’t matter that I’ve never been too fond of sunflower seeds,

because I wouldn’t have been too fond of anything right then.

Whether it was those little seeds,

or filet mignon, or oysters in a shell,

it would have only tasted like the sadness,

like the distance, like things that had been

but were no more.

It would have tasted like the slimy gray flavor of

“This is for the best”

and would have reinforced the belief

that this so often said

when it really truly isn’t.


You can imagine, I’m sure, how drawn out

the process of eating a little bag of sunflower seeds is,

but what you probably can’t imagine is

just how many of those little suckers there are,

even the most miniature bag.

I ate those little bullets like that for the entirety

of the 90 minute trip,

and there were still four left in the bag

when we pulled into station.

I shook them into my hand and

hurled them into the adjacent field

as far as they could go.

Perhaps a bird would find them;

maybe then it wouldn’t all be loss.

8 Replies to “Feed it to the birds–a new poem”

  1. Hey, Paul. thanks for the alert. I always read first thing in the morning, so had already read today. I am glad I got to read this tonight. I needed it. Thanks so much. Love to all.

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