Richard Smyth

Five Wild Turkeys

Why do we watch in fascination
from our back window
as five wild turkeys
peck from the seed we give
to winter birds all season long?

What struck us dumb with wonder,
speechless as Adam
on his first encounter with the world-
wordless, without purpose,
before the dividing into this and that began?

Why are we so stunned to see such splendor?-
the light shining from big bright feathers,
the strange red headskin and wrinkled claws,
the tail fan twitching, the strange round eye
watching through the window for our sudden lunge.

What is it that keeps us glued to the chair-
wondering if they’re hungry buzzards-
until they wander off out of view
in that slow stately strut,
head bobbing like a llama?

What is it but the wonder
of wildlife come close for a moment,
as if a magical creature appeared out of nowhere,
blessed us with its presence,
and gave us some mythic gift,

a life-giving elixir that would help us
keep on going through this dangerous world.

Richard Smyth is editor and publisher of the poetry journal Albatross and has published poems in The Southern Poetry Review, Kansas Quarterly, Tampa Review, Wisconsin Review, Florida Review, and others. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and currently works as a high school library media specialist in Boston.