Birds in Home Depot—Journey to The Slowdown
The poem did what she wanted every poem in the collection to do: provide that moment of encounter between humans and nature, where both are fully themselves, and nature is not just an incidental backdrop for human experience.
The poet, Rick Maxson, notes that the inspiration for “Birds in Home Depot” came from a Christmas when he was living in Treasure Island, Florida with his wife Carol. He went to Home Depot to get a pin for a pneumatic door closer. He first heard the sparrows and then tried to locate them, which wasn’t easy against the brown beams of Home Depot’s color scheme. Once he spotted a few, he followed them through the store as they flew and hopped from the beams and occasionally descended onto a display that attracted them. As Rick wandered to the Garden Center he saw even more birds picking over the dried leaves and flowers. The next day, he began thinking about the irony of these birds in a home-improvement/building store.
Now this irony has joined the irony of birds in airports—an irony that poet Major Jackson points out in his marvelous introduction to “Birds in Home Depot” on The Slowdown:
The irony of a small bird trapped in a cavernous airport was not lost on me. Here was the pinnacle triumph of humankind’s efforts to achieve flight, blemished by the entrapment of the very creature who served as its aerodynamic inspiration.
—Major Jackson, host of The Slowdown
Jackson then goes on to consider that perhaps the bird is not as entrapped as he first thought, with the clever avian even taking advantage of this human setting (sometimes in an amusing way).
We encourage you to catch Jackson’s whole reflection, and his beautiful reading of “Birds in Home Depot,” here:
And if you’d like to add a reflection of your own, you’re invited to do so in the comment box below.
Poetry Prompt: Birds In…
Where have you seen birds in unlikely places? What were they doing? What were you doing? Was there any irony in the experience? Put your birds (and maybe your experience, too) in a poem and share with the Tweetspeak community!
Photo by Viktor Bystrov, Creative Commons, via Unsplash.
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