Condo Aviary

It’s three in the morning
and I wake to the incessant
tweet, tweet, twittering
of sparrows in concert with a shrill
twisting chir-rup, chirrup, chirrrr
a chorus that fills the night air
At least roosters wait til daylight,
The lone streetlight reveals
a black beaked cardinal
goose stepping along a naked
spring branch, his scarlet
feathers a shaky blur as his
impoverished cousin, a robin,
pecks idly at the stingy patio grass
then disappears under the wrought
iron table tucked tight against the siding
since the first snow fall, its victimized chairs
are splotched white with droppings
Later dive bombing seagulls will decorate
the parking lot in polka dots before
congregating in corners to converse and
look for scraps as a bouquet of pheasants
saunter down the winding bike trail
and a silent hawk, wings spread,
blacks out the sky hunting prey.

-Esperanza Cintrón

Esperanza Cintrón is the author of Shades, Detroit Love Stories, a collection of interconnected short stories published by Wayne State University Press and selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, and three books of poetry: Visions of a Post-Apocalyptic Sunrise, the Naomi Long Madgett Award winner What Keeps Me Sane, and Chocolate City Latina. Her poetry has been anthologized in Manteca! An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, Abandoned Automobile and others. Other awards include a Michigan Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant, the Metro Times Poetry Prize, Callaloo Writing Fellowships at Oxford and Brown Universities. Website: