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Foot of Del Norte Street 

grackles flash brass badges
where weary sparrows flit
from homeless camps to St Vinnies

they block the flyway
while rain smothers the morning
and a low-slung sun holds no promise

hunger driven sparrows
hover in the brush
eyes blank with fear

listen
for the rusty-gate sounds
of grackle's radio "readle-cak"

path to food and shelter denied
by menacing hulks in blue-black gear
that sheds the rain and defies the cold

brown pelicans swoop by
toward the long pier, eyes downcast
hold their breath against the smell of fear

grackles retreat at dusk
ease their black & whites into gear
cackle all the way to the station.

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Dewell H. Byrd

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