Poems by Jodi Lundgren

“Bird Bath”
             By Jodi Lundgren

The sparrows found it first: they dunked
their heads and wet their feathers.
Some submerged their feet and flapped
their wings so fast, it seemed they might
take flight—but only water flew.
Its scent drew starlings, robins, crows.
The smaller birds retreated, wheeled,
swung back. A planet circling. Fall
and winter, spring—rain kept it full.
By June, the dehydrated sky
needs help from gardeners, hoses.
The first hot day I fill the bowl,
the creatures, parched, soon venture in:
hind legs spread wide, a squirrel leans
its paws on the rim, CEO-style.
A cat sits straight, its red tongue
dipping, dipping, paddle-shaped,
a taster spoon in ice cream.
A black-tailed doe finds four hoofholds
before she lowers her snout,
her yearling nosing her flank,
remembering milk.

The drinking hole has brought them close.
Come noon, the bowl is bare and dry.
A treed raccoon looks on, dull-eyed.
No clouds above, the tap still runs.
I lift the watering can and pour;
its spout bows like a head in prayer.

“With Every Meal”
             By Jodi Lundgren

Low moan like the moo of a cow I didn’t eat.
Fingertips on a balloon—that rubbery squeak.
Whoosh of air set free from a bicycle pump.
Three Tenors Hydrogen, 
, and Methane
sing with so much variety! Blame the chili.

Honk of a Canada goose, squawk of a mallard,
and my cat comes running to my side.
On an after-dinner walk, a sharp toot
sparks a neighbour dog’s echoing bark.
It’s worse when we forget to shell the chickpeas.

When a plaintive wail sounds through a wall,
“Did you call for me?” they say. Groan, creak,
whine, bleat. “Do those hinges need some oil?”
Lentil, kidney, navy, pea, black bean, pinto, adzuki—
vegans, wind instruments in the Legume Symphony.

- Jodi Lundgren’s previous publications include the novels Touched and Leap. Her poetry has recently appeared in Dear Vaccine, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye et al. and in Even So, I Sing, edited by Lorna Crozier. She is a settler of English and Danish descent on Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territory.

Copyright©2023 by Jodi Lundgren. All Rights Reserved.