For the Birds in Ogdensburg, NY
A young great-uncle amazed into marriage
Lost his laugh before I was born but
Fed birds with crumbs every day at five,
Recovering from the shock of his capture on
Evenings when he stared out from his kitchen,
Deaf to all that disappointing noise.
Let’s be Alfred at twenty,
Educated while the family could
Spend their money on him, though the
Priest had said four grades were good
Enough for girls to get their parents a ten-year
Return before they married them off to
Anyone who wanted a wife.
Not that the boys fared better. Of eleven
Children, only two stayed with their spouses.
Evenings with the pigeons seemed so much safer.