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Ostriches of Autumn


By Christy MunsonPublished 23 days ago Updated 23 days ago 2 min read
Ostriches of Autumn
Photo by Giv Meraj on Unsplash


She's a young bird with an old soul. Sings the old ways. Crooning for the lonely. With her long o's and her bittersweet odes. She's got laments to keep herself pining, like a momma bird twitching, picking up sticks and newborn scars.

Her nest's turned empty. So it goes.

Her gothic eyes are black as clouds shushing! at the sun to steel the darkness. She knows the night like the ridges of her feathers. She's felt every kind of rain pelting, her breast exposed, winter’s ice dripping with spring's forward promises.

She's seen how the young ones bleat and laugh from a distance, with their scarecrow eyes all-blacked-in. They come flying into her hollow, her home, the old neighborhood, whispering how she's “an old coot" and "a crazy old bat." They come round here, hauling out drugstore parking lot finds like it's All Saints' Eve. Waxy papers crumpled, tossed aside. "Just a touch of padding," they say, "for when the twigs wet with slush."

Who needs them? Brooding lot of prattling hens! That self-righteous gaggle can keep their torn-off corners of day-old bread. What's it to her?

Hers might be an old nest, but it's a strong nest. Fortified, and all her own. Don't nobody else build them like they used to.

She's watched bright flora, greener than green, and so naive, giving in to summer's tragic romance. Watched how new things hunger, pecking, undignified, at soft-turned soil, snapping out all the worms, like its owed.


And then he slips in, riding her feathers, too close. He plays at singing her melody, smooth as midnight in Vermont. Don't mean a thing. Temptation's just the calm before the storm. He's the epitome of emptiness, the face of shadows.

This is her hollow. Her tree. Her home. Her own fine melody.

But there are nights, those long-drawn yearning nights, when she envies the Ostriches of autumn. Those fools are only too willing to duck, to turn a blind eye, to bury what's too hard. Telling themselves it'll all blow over.

What a lark!

He thinks she'll share her nest if he comes calling, cuz it's him. But she won't.

He won't return. Don't think she doesn't know it. She's a young bird with an old soul. She knows better than most, winter's no man's first choice, and she's not moving from her perch.

Still, she watches from the shoreline as his figure splits the sun.


Copyright © 05/02/2024 by Christy Munson. All rights reserved.


About the Creator

Christy Munson

My words expose what I find real and worth exploring.

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Comments (9)

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  • Paul Stewart16 days ago

    Just...stunning writing Christy. Well done...I'm actually stumped lol. Normally wanna say loads...but I just love the characterisation of the protaganist and the other birds...your descriptions are so evocative and there is such an old soul vibe to it all. I mean that in a nice way. Like the main character would dispense sage advice...has seen it all. :)

  • Andrea Corwin 21 days ago

    Hauling out drugstore parking lot finds - that is the seagulls here! Many lines of the poem are special - clouds shushing is one. Fabulous!

  • Shirley Belk22 days ago

    I love old souls...the BEST

  • Cathy holmes22 days ago

    This is fantastic. So many lines to gush over, but I think this might be my fave, "Her gothic eyes are black as clouds shushing! at the sun to steel the darkness."

  • D.K. Shepard23 days ago

    This is so good! Reread a couple times because there were so many moments I wanted to revisit and phrases to appreciate!

  • Well-wrought! A poetic allegory!

  • "He thinks she'll share her nest if he comes calling, cuz it's him. But she won't." That line was so empowering! Loved your story so much!

  • L.C. Schäfer23 days ago

    Gorgeous. I want to read this over and over. "Watches from the shoreline as his figure splits the sun" - going out strong on that line!

  • Dana Crandell23 days ago

    I really enjoy your writing style. Christy! Another great piece of microfiction!

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