Cory Henniges

Walking to the pond at the park

I never learned the names of wildlife, or perhaps I never listened. 

It feels so late in life now.

I google the name of the bird that is looking at me. 

The black bird with red on its wing is called

the Red-winged Black Bird. 

This has given me confidence in naming the rest.

Under the droopy hair tree, I see:

Green tidy spikes fencing the ugly poof tops and skinny yellow necks.

I pass my hand across the fresh water corn dogs

and pink beaded pinkies, but pull it back near the angry stick bush. 

Here, the red necklace.

No, this one I know.

The bleeding heart. 

I feel its warning.

I hear the buzz come through the water, 

like a great mouth 

surfacing to swallow me whole.

CORY HENNIGES lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where his body drives a forklift while his mind travels. His previous work can be found in process revisions and machine operating instructions throughout factories in Wisconsin.