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BellaOnline Literary Review
Tentacles by Christine Catalano

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Twelve Step Program

Lee Evans

One hundred Cedar Waxwings
Devouring winterberries
Beside the sewage treatment plant,
So hearty and so merry!

In choirs they perch, just singing
Their constant, high pitched tune,
Their pointed crests expressing
All phases of the moon.

Contentedly they roost where
For me is bitter cold,
Allowing me to sidle close
While peering from below.

I’ve known them to pass berries
Branch downward, taking turns
At gulping the fermented fruit—
So much they never learn!

For choked on the choke cherries,
Or other fruit they’ve found,
They teeter-totter drunkenly
And tumble to the ground—

Unless one thinks to proffer
One’s haberdashery,
To catch the greedy little sots
Before they hit the street.

Without a Twelve Step Program,
They live “one day at a time.”
Their lack of moderation, though,
Should bring our own to mind.