The Way You Are

By Ross Clifford

Should the bread
go moldy or arugula

soften to a darkened pulp,
don’t throw it out,

you taught me,
but a lawn offering make,

and should the savage jays
or claw-cawed crows embroil

(wing-beating perimeter
of fluttering threats)

to finely slice and chop
so morsel-sized

finches even can flit near edge
and pilfer,

then return back
to watch,

you showed me,
at window this display,

this feast of spoiled remains,
it can feel,

especially in evening,

Ross Clifford is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Portland State University. He currently lives in Scotts Valley, California, but much of his writing is rooted in the mountains of Idaho, where he was raised. Work of his can also be found in the literary journal Gravel.