Tina Kelley

Battering Robin Syndrome

He has split his beak on my view.
He has left his selfprint, almost art.
My window is torturing him.
My hubcaps incense him.

The robin wants my spring yard
to himself. Each reflection's
a rival and must be fought full force.
Each reflection is harder than his skull.

He slides down, hobbles, tries again.
What business do I have holding mirrors
up to nature? It revolts. It suicides.
My love of flat, clear and shining

surfaces, flatter, clearer, shinier than lakes,
than anything in nature, is unnatural,
antinatural. And if nature held mirrors to me,
showed me someone I thought would steal

my truelove, or showed me how I'm doing,
what would I do, would I learn,
or beat my head against her skull,
or try to smash myself against the news?

Copyright 1996, Tina Kelley

Tina Kelley's poems have appeared in more than a dozen journals, including Poetry Northwest,
Yankee, Prairie Schooner
, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, as well
as on Seattle buses. She is a freelance journalist for The New York Times and The Baltimore
, and has reported for The Seattle Times and the Post-Intelligencer. "Battering Robin
Syndrome" was previously published in Poetry Northwest (Summer 1996).

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