Kevin Gallagher
The Day No Fish Could Die
                      Gloucester, 1994

The only sounds
on the street

that a human
ear can hear

are last years’
leaves scratching

the pavement
and empty cans

rolling like logs
on a river.

Cardinals disguised
as old autumn

leaves glide
through looking

for gray mice.
Alley cats

chase everything.
Spring worms

harbor on the side
of the road.

The cardinals
bite with confidence,

knowing there
are no hooks.

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