Together, A Way

Mitchell Nobis

For Carrie

We sit by the fire pit, early evening,
watching what birds we have left
flit branch to branch, from cedar

to maple to the ground to peck something
by the rhododendron over there.
The dog moves, they scatter.

The cardinals, a male & female,
come to this corner of the yard.
Mates, we assume, we hope

because anthropomorphic love
is something to believe in.
Give us a mirror and show us
a way.

The birds flit again and light on a wire
running from a thick pole
that used to be a tree

somewhere in this land humans
re-shaped because we could, because
a fool with an idea is a dangerous dream.

The wire runs from an imagined
boundary in the corner of the property
to a gray box with a tangle of wires

next to our kitchen window. The birds
flap to the ground, pick up seeds, then
light on the coaxial cable that snakes

out of the gray box & across the house,
into a puttied hole, carrying the murk of
internet & TV. The cardinals sit, stories zipping

under their feet. Doom screaming under their feet.
Disasters and profits under their feet. News news
news streaming news and news under their feet.

We stare at the fire. We move a log,
unveil a bed of coals. We roast
marshmallows with our boys.

We watch the fire glow on their faces.
Our own faces warm toward the fire.
Our backs wary in the shadow,

Mitchell Nobis is a writer and K-12 teacher in Metro Detroit. His poetry has appeared in Rise Up Review, Nurture Literary, The Hopper, Hobart, and others. He facilitates Teachers as Poets for the National Writing Project and hosts the Wednesday Night Sessions reading series. Find him at @MitchNobis or

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