This week’s poem, Thomas Moore’s “Wild Turkeys,” brings us into the quiet, grounded pleasure of sharing space with wild creatures. I love this poem’s clarion imagery, and its speaker’s wonder at how “(t)heir presence/centers me, measures me, wildness/at our door.”

Moore’s fifth book of poems, “Stones,” was published in 2021 by Moon Pie Press. His poem “How We Built Our House” won a 2018 Pushcart Prize, and his work has been broadcast on Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry. He has taught at universities in Iran, Turkey and Mali and is former poet laureate of Belfast.

Wild Turkeys
By Thomas Moore

They stretch and bounce to reach
the barberries like thieving boys
under an apple tree. It’s ten degrees

outside. One flails upward into
the bush to pluck the red berries.
Can these birds really fly?

Behind the glass door our little
terrier roars and the turkeys
scatter, one exploding high

into a spruce. In an hour they are
back under the bird-feeder
leaving curled turds and tracks

in the snow. Their presence
centers me, measures me, wildness
at our door, like coyote scat

at the edge of the lawn. Silent
to us, the turkeys scratch
for birdseed under the snow.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Wild Turkeys,” copyright 2018, originally published in Typehouse Literary Magazine and in Red Stone Fragments (Moon Pie Press). It appears by permission of the author.

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