On the Morning I could be
Tippi Hedren in The Birds


the crows have already pecked thru
garbage bags, left bracelets
of orange peels and crusts. Nothing
doesnít feel dangerous. The gulls
skitter to my wrists. I used to be glib,
had a sense of humor, loved walking
in black heels, jaunty, assured.
I didnít hate birds but I didnít love
them. I let my sister feed pigeons,
until her window filled with lice.
I gave her my java temple bird in
its cage. Iíve had my share of
domineering men, bossy, sure they
knew what was right for me, told
me how to dress, what color my
hair should be. Iíve been eye candy
and I know how to put up with
crap. Iíve had obsessive men I had
to call the cops on, ones who imagined
we had ďsomething going.Ē You know
the type. On a day like today, I can
feel him stalking me. He thought I
was protesting too much. At least he
didnít have power over me like Hitch
did. But there is something in this
day of the least light, as hovering,
as scary as a lumbering hulk throwing
himself against me. Itís in the air and
the sky is darker, the birds.  Itís not
just crows but sparrows and jays.
They are louder than Iíve ever
heard then. If I shut my eyes
I feel them, something as terrible,
guilt or bad memories pecking
and nipping, a part of me like Tippi
in agony shaking on the attic floor

Lyn Lifshin

If you have any comments on this poem, Lyn Lifshin would be pleased to hear from you.