The Maynard
Fall 2017

Tara Borin


I once watched birds.
Spent hours alone
on the rocky river bank,
in the willows,
on a cliff’s edge.

a bald eagle defend its catch
against gulls,
a common merganser
teach her ducklings to dive,

could distinguish
three different warblers
by song alone.
I never went anywhere
without my binoculars.

Now, three kids deep,
my binoculars
gather dust
and sightings
are incidental—

a boreal owl soars over
the driveway
where we kick a ball.
A sharp-tailed grouse, rare,
dances in our yard.

In the car on the way to the playgroup
we pass a float of ducks
in an unruffled pond and
I long to name them,
feel frantic that I can’t.

I’ve forgotten the warblers but
have learned
to tell the difference
between a tired cry
and a hungry one,

have learned that
neither birds
nor children
to me.