The Guilt of Sight
by Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb


It is a simple wish
made in a moment, curiosity
driving desire to see just one,
a motionless blue jay.
But, the essence of corvid cacophony,
they continue to flit, the young,
darts of feathers aiming at parents,
that desperate shrieking so distinct
from other jays--I've seen them all--
pinyon, scrub, Steller's, gray-breasted,
but never this non-Southwesterner.

Exasperating, the black-beaked beasts
never stop moving, a flock
of white-fluff bellies sailing above
from trees to structures to trash cans,
perching long enough to anticipate
a change in direction, a food source,
or something worth exploring.
To see up close just one jay,
unexpected at this Colorado rest area,
is so hoped for
                          and finally fulfilled.

Seeing it near a grass-edged curb,
I creep closer, quietly so as not to scare
this precious thing I stalk to view--
in vain; the bird cannot hear me. It is
perfect, with white-patched wings
and dark-streaked tail, except
that it is on its side--a juvenile bird,
the crested, sky-colored clump
having had no conception of cars
and no sense when in flight
to move out of the way.


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