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One-Sided Conversation
Glen Sorestad


A lone waxwing, perched on an upper arm
of the small green ash. I stop. Drab grey
is usually uninviting, but early sun-slants 
enliven even the muted slate tones.
A jaunty blue jay arrives, picks a seat
on the same ash, a few feet from the other
and begins to prattle, as jays are wont to do, 
with neither provocation nor invitation.

Whatever the jay may ask or demand,
the waxwing remains mum, while the jay
flits, branch to branch, seeking, interrogating,
but receiving not a shred of revelation.

Frustrated by its companion’s reluctance 
to disclose a single morsel of useful news,
the jay utters a few rude squawks and flaps off
in search of a more receptive audience.

© by Glen Sorestad.
Used with the author’s permission.


Glen Sorestad is a Canadian poet, fiction writer, editor, publisher, anthologist, and public speaker. Author of more than 25 books of poetry and numerous short stories, his work has appeared in more than 70 anthologies and textbooks and his book, Selected Poems from Dancing Birches, was published in Italy in a bilingual edition. Glen has been appointed to The Order of Canada, that country's highest non-military honor, served as Saskatchewan’s first Poet Laureate from 2000 - 2004, and has given public readings of his poetry in every province of Canada, as well as in many U.S. states and many parts of Europe. Glen lives in Saskatoon with his wife, Sonia, who he claims is his "first and most enthusiastic reader and editor." Learn more about Glen here.




Post New Comment:
Waxwings are among my favorite birds. I'd never describe them as gray, but a beige, or grieve, with tipped tail and accents. The poem proves the wisdom of keeping one's mouth shut! I e njoyed it.
Posted 05/25/2020 01:57 PM
I know people who flit about seeking something to talk about--after they embellish, of course. Excellent, delightful poem.
Posted 05/24/2020 06:55 PM
Lori Levy:
Definitely like some people I know!
Posted 05/23/2020 06:49 PM
michael escoubas:
I like all the "shuns" in this poem Glen: "provocation," "invitation," "revelation,"--which seems to have been the waxwing's relational strategy!--Nicely done.
Posted 05/23/2020 08:46 AM
Nothing worse than a silent companion I would have flapped away too. . Great description.
Posted 05/23/2020 07:32 AM
Larry Schug:
A nicely portrayed scene, Glen. It's a joy of spring watching as the winter migrants return. The blue jays, who stick around all winter seem to think they're in charge.
Posted 05/23/2020 06:21 AM

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