European Starling

a poem by Michael Hardin

In Central Park, a Shakespearean released

the first murmuration, a warping cloud

looped in eleven dimensions of string.

Inside I help my daughter with calculus,

curves and space, a constellation

of derivatives and integrals.

Each iridescent starling is an ellipsoid 

with beak and feet to be calculated,

but as a scourge, they defy mathematics.

Across our continent a chattering, 

Hotspur’s birds all speaking “Mortimer”

as they peck tomatoes off my vines.

“Mortimer” I cry and wave my arms,

they vanish into their wrapped dimensions.

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