“The jay looks out for others’ hungers — glints in the groundcover, flits in the canopy …”

BROAD STREET presents a poem from our Winter 2019 “Rivals & Players” issue. To enjoy it as a broadside, drag to your desktop, where you can enlarge it and print it. Or simply scroll down to read in plain text.


A Steller’s jay turrets its head

this way, that, militant

blue monk in its black cowl,

claws in the V of two branches.

Beady-eyed scrounger scans

the hedged surround, sure

the peanut it’s got wedged

in that cranny’s of interest

to others now. One

bony phalanx over the shell,

by a few jabs the beak

stabs into the meat.

As it feasts, the jay looks out

for others’ hungers — glints

in the groundcover, flits

in the canopy — beast canny,

anxious as any, and I wonder,

where in all survival is peace.


Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and three chapbooks, including Dark’s Channels (Iron Horse Literary Review Chapbook Award). Recent honors include the Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry, The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Poetry Prize, and The Tishman Review’s Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize. Recent poems can be found in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, Solstice, and elsewhere. Jed is Poetry Editor for the journal Bracken.

Broad Street’s Winter 2019 issue features lovers, fighters, warriors, war reenactors, ad men, insects, and neighbors. Do we play the game, or does the game play us? What do we get when we spin Fortune’s wheel? Who’s watching, anyway — and when are they coming for us?
Read the full issue on Medium by clicking the cover or this title here: “Rivals & Players.” Or click the title in the upper right of our menu bar.
Cover image by Chad Hunt. Steller’s jay by Wikimedia.