There is a twig on a tree in my back yard

There is a twig on a tree in my back yard
that the wind uses to scratch the sky
and every day when I come home
a tough little finch is sitting
there all puffed out and thinking. I’m
trying to figure out what he is thinking
and why he has to think it on the tip of the twig
that the wind uses to scratch the sky.
Perhaps I should mention that it is winter
and if the finch had any sense he would be
some place warm with its loved ones
instead of balanced on the edge of nowhere.
If the finch had any sense he would be
doing something with his life instead of
sitting around thinking so much.

Perhaps he doesn’t have any sense.
In the shadow of this steel mill
any creature could go mad. I’ve
heard that there is quicksilver in the
very air. When I fix my dinner I can still
see the finch on the tip of the twig. He
must not be hungry.

At night he is yet unmoved although
the twig still writes the sky
and the waxing moon shines behind it all
like sumi-e. Now I know what he is thinking.
He is the one doing the writing, not me.

v2.0

There is a twig on a tree in my back yard
that the wind uses to scratch the sky
and every day when I come home
a tough little finch is sitting
there all puffed out and thinking. I’m
trying to figure out what he is thinking
and why he has to think it on the tip of the twig
that the wind uses to scratch the sky.
Perhaps I should mention that it is winter
and if the finch had any sense he would be
some place warm with its loved ones
instead of balanced on the edge of nowhere.
If the finch had any sense he would be
doing something with his life instead of
sitting around thinking so much.

Perhaps he doesn’t have any sense.
In the shadow of this steel mill
any creature could go mad. I’ve
heard that there is quicksilver in the
very air. When I fix my dinner I can still
see the finch on the tip of the twig. He
must not be hungry.

At night he is yet unmoved although
the twig still writes the sky
and the waxing moon shines behind it all
like sumi-e. Then,
he is gone.

The wind stills, the moon
slides behind the smokestacks and
I wait for my own perfect moment to leave.


I’ve been trying to write a terzanelle for a long time but I can’t never get it to work none. This was another attempt but it came out better in free verse. Any suggestions are appreciated.