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Thursday, June 14, 2012 08:30 am

downtown poem # 3

you know that tall building 6th and monroe
café brio on the ground floor maybe you’ve
noted they’re stripping the fake façade with
a crane well that facing went on in the 70s
to beautify the structure make it mod from
the second floor to the top a chic metal grid
actually rows of metal boxes open ended
to let in the light hard to describe I could draw
a picture anyway it didn’t take some thousand
local starlings a week to realize they’d received
a highrise hotel individual rooms safe from sun
sleet wind rain snow even the occasional hawk
open enough to chat with all their neighbors
coming in to roost catch up on the day’s doings
raucous conversations I took my capital campus
evening classes to enjoy the conviviality but
it was a vexing problem to the beautifiers they
solved it by draping the entire building with a
net yes netting to keep the starlings out this
worked okay until the famed icestorm of ’78
that coated every net-strand with ice thick as a
finger the net now weighed tons it gave up slid
down the building in a great glittering square
right to the sidewalk made prisoner anyone in
haines & essick’s stationers nobody could get out
or in I was always on the starlings’ side I quick
gathered a class to come enjoy this spectacle too

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