Folk Art

It’s shrapnel.  Some industrial iron contrivance
blasted apart by the river for decades, bashed
by whole trees and tumbling stones and rusted
to a pocked and tapering arc of such elegance

I carried it from fishing hole, run, and riffle
all the two miles from where I found it
back to camp and then home, where I drilled
in each end of it a hole and mounted it

to the high front soffit of the wood shed,
where it makes, as I knew it would when I saw it,
a perfect perch for the birds.  Crushed and severed
shard of a boiler, a curved and fossilized strike

of lightning, like the sands of the desert
turned glass by the bomb, like the spans
of barb wire extending from the center either side
of the hundred year old yellow pine behind

my shack, which I love almost as much
as I love the iron bird perch.  Certain days in winter,
I will walk back to check on it, to see how
hoarfrost turns its last few barbs into stars.


Robert Wrigley