A Sonnet On My Birthday

Owen McLeod

This morning I scan the news on my phone,
eat one boiled egg and a piece of wheat toast,
drink a pot of coffee, do two loads of clothes.
I keep making the same mistakes: confusing love
with infatuation, blaming people not situations,
inflicting my worst self on my dearest friends,
taking everything good for granted, projecting
what’s corrupt in me onto the innocent world,
clinging to dust, ignoring the moon and stars.
Along the river, partly frozen in this season,
seagulls huddle atop the warehouse roofs
in vast, steaming flocks. Why are they here, far
from any sea, squabbling over scraps of litter?
I’m fifty-two today. I pray for thirty more years.

NAR Logo

Owen McLeod's debut collection, Dream Kitchen, won the 2018 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. His work has found homes in FIELD, New England Review, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review.