July 16, 2014, by Kateri Kosek
Kateri Kosek, whose poetry and reviews have appeared in Orion, recently left her Massachusetts home for a several-week trip to Poland. Here’s the last in a three-part series of dispatches from her travels.
There is a bird blind at the edge of my uncle’s hayfield. Around it, the remains of a fire, a few bottle caps on the ground. It looks rough but sturdy, draped in rubber and camouflaged with branches. My uncle told us about it when he learned I liked to watch birds. Someone had asked his permission to build it there, so he could film the birds. Just out of the way of the tractors, it doesn’t seem particularly well situated, unless he is after the storks. No one seems to know anything more, so I am left to wonder what draws him here, why this field, and who he is, this person who, like me, seeks out the birds.
When there’s nothing to do, I slip away to the woods that border the hayfields, looking for the birds that are singing, but they are hard to find. The lushness of these stands of forest is surprising for such open country full of cultivated fields. Pines with red trunks dominate, tall and straight and thin so that the sun reaches the mossy understory. The soil—pure sand—recalls a beach.