Gumnuts rain on her car like rain
that does not sting if he knows its reason
but if it is to fall is like dread
is dread and such dread to
blast every very thing but love she said
in a word (as in mortality hazard ratio)
syllable in a word (as in crude death rate)
letter in a syllable in a word (as in R0)
as in a curve in a letter in a syllable in a word at last hooked
as in a serif in—breath caught

whose small terrors and wonders add up
to the band to the nation to the world
of magpie that watches man
that only the woman notices knowing
he could unflinch the man
high in the gumnut tree
he could he could who with a falling coo
could unflinch more if coming closer could
release them unto gargling play
all the while could so do
thrilling with the same beak
better corvid than we think
shrike bastard or national carillon
who is she to say
who? Indeed, she nods
feeling cloven in three
warding bearing striking
all at once
sprayed nutted cut
before they might settle into dreams
pied light and feathers

That’s condign reward for crimes he assumed
murder in his little dreams big enough for the world.

Newly unhappy or routinely altered
he has imagined this day this swoop
the signs were there in black and amber
spike and a chip flying from his scalp

for the reason of the world is
to do what must and not what her hands want
which would deal solitaire all day long
out of fear of the beak and laws of nature

trees where creatures lurk and wait
when they might perch and sing
the falling of a day some other’s way
to a dawn that is a joy to rise without us.

She closes the window and drives.