When I Don’t Know What Kind of Bird I Am

I’m surprised the mild wind that brought me here
could turn so quickly spooky. Kicked-up, horse-like.

Or, when standing still & I sense myself askew,
at a slight angle to the universe, confused

re: the who & what & how. How to openopenopen.
How to harvest flax without degrading the hills.

The violet and low-rolling hills.
It would help to have a basic understanding

of thermodynamics to better parse, for example,
the ins and outs of heat exchange. As in, it’s a cold day

in March, you put your hand in my pocket.
Put your fine, cold hand in my flannel-lined pocket.

It would help if you’d talk a little Brontë, a little Austen
to me while we stroll across the softening fields

to the lambing shed where we’ll kneel down
in our muddy boots and count the curly heads.

Maya Smith Janson’s poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Murmur & Crush, was published in 2012.