Open-Heart Burglary

by Mark Terrill

In the postbellum antechamber
of an old boatyard in Dithmarschen
I brush the dust off a book
and read how the ancient Chinese
associated magpies with good luck
and crows with bad luck and I
look out the window and see
four magpies harassing Billy the cat
in the long green driveway
wondering what became of the crows
that used to live in the big poplars
while I muster the necessary resolve
for another wordless conversation
with the weak and the strong
while the peaches from Spain
that smell like sun are languishing
in the darkness of my German pantry
just down the hall from where I’m
weighing these truths and consequences
and coming to such conclusions as
the needs devise the ways and
you go someplace to get something
and return to from where you came
and it’s a very stubborn bird
that rises up from the ashes.