Talking Back

The harsh cawing pulls me out of sleep.
A black exclamation point on the bleached
skeleton of a tall oak flat against the sky.

The rough calls curse the laughing gulls,
who jeer back at the crow
and swirl around the lobster boat’s wake.

A contemplative blue heron
examines the mud at his feet
and makes no comment.

The duck family in the shallows
ignores the quarrel and quietly
practices its acrobatics.

I curse and burn but maybe
like ducks and heron
I can turn my head
and let it go.

Lari Smith