The Cohort

More

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

It's true: you wake up one morning and they're gone,
the flock of a hundred redpolls who swept in like Huns
with their tiny red caps and black moustaches,
their breasts freckled and stippled like thrushes',
an irruption of redpolls you haven't seen in a decade
and may never see again in the disorderly parade
of your lifetime. How they intimidated the chickadees,
the titmice, even the needle-nosed nuthatches,
batting your year-round faithfuls away from the feeder.
How they chattered, snatching and flapping, rapacious
yet charming in their little red yarmulkes …
you shiver, remembering, refilling the cylinder.
The sunflower seeds glisten like ebony.
O merciless January, where has the cohort gone?

Maxine Kumin is the author of fourteen collections, including the recently published Jack and Other New Poems. She lives in New Hampshire.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In