Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by former Portsmouth Poet Laureate John-Michael Albert.


Birdseed on the Snow

By John-Michael Albert


Like the rime of salt left by the vapors

of a shrinking lake; like a guest too quick


to depart, trailing traces of himself


so others might puzzle out who he was,

this snowdrift melts, freezes, and melts again,

moving its hidden burden to its surface.



Inside this drift, half-eaten layers of birdseed —

newly sown after each snowstorm, after

repeated shoveling and plowings — heave


their way to the top, a feast for the fists-

full of feathers who shelter from the wind


in the twiggy hedge nearby. Come spring


it will all be washed away. The dust, the leaves,

and the tiny golden husks will all flush

down the granite gutter. At this moment



though, we chant Hail Mary for these aves,

serve them in strata stacked one on the other,

with a layer of snow to separate each,


until the April ram’s sweet showers.


Dennis Camire can be reached at

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