My sensible backyard fence has nothing
against winter quail.
It stands six feet tall to keep out dogs
and keep in tension.
But during the northern transit, callipeplae find the wall
three, four, six at a time, they flapper up and quaver
upon the snowy rail.
Preened blacks and browns glisten as the birds ponder
further hesitant flight,
jerking plumes at my white, encrusted yard—bobbleheads
never more awkward.
After much lack of thought they take a confused leap
from crowded perch,
making way for dozens who scuffle and wait their churn
on the far side.
Defying the situation’s gravity, another southern convoy
assumes the position:
the stubborn migrants appear to have nothing much
against my fence.