Merchants of mistrust
a jury perched
in the walnut tree
outside my bedroom window

stark silhouettes with listening eyes
sit like a string of black pearls
against October’s golden trance.

They were here
when I arrived, waiting
casting their dour stares
from a second story loft
kicking off,

skyward caws that pierce
the timid daylight
in full strokes from dark wings
cutting through the lapis blue
swirling down
surrounding me in their feathered canopy

their warning:
step back.

Tim Louis Macaluso is an openly gay poet, writer, and award-winning journalist. He has worked in media for much of his career. Most recently, he was a staff writer for CITY Newspaper in Rochester, NY where he wrote extensively about poverty, urban education, and progressive politics. His poetry has appeared in numerous print and online publications.