“Prowl for Luck” by Jeff Schiff

flight’s temping
And it’d be tough

to find a soul
who would not slough it all
to lift

above braided boughs
and neglected spires
Today however

the air at Lake Mary
with nuisance

taunters swoopers
guardians of the cosmic lint pile
Here they be

crammed in oaks
and transplanted ash
just where their Mesozoic gods

installed them
First come the albatross
next the cloying warbler

last the vengeful shrike
None make their way
with impudence

up the bowered lake path
a bitter choiring
a lousy disdain

Beware the lovers
beware the dusk and dawn runners
beware the criminally insane

who prowl for luck

Jeff Schiff is the author of That hum to go by, Mixed Diction, Burro Heart, The Rats of Patzcuaro, The Homily of Infinitude, and Anywhere in this Country. Hundreds of his pieces have appeared in more than a hundred and thirty publications worldwide, including The Alembic, Bellingham Review, Cincinnati Review, Grand Street, Ohio Review, Poet & Critic, Tulane Review, Tampa Review, Louisville Review, Tendril, Pembroke Magazine, Carolina Review, Chicago Review, Hawaii Review, Southern Humanities Review, River City, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, and Southwest Review. He has been a member of the faculty at Columbia College Chicago since 1987.