It’s November for the nuthatch,
the chickadee and me.
They fly to my back deck.
They know where their food will be.
Hanging from the low pine branches,
dangling from the chains I’ve hung there,
while teetering on the top rung
of my A-frame ladder
are two Droll Yankee feeders
and an old green metal feeding box
filled with gray striped
and black oil sunflower seeds.
Wired to each chain is a suet holder
crammed with soft fat and seed suet blocks.
There, along with the nuthatch,
chickadee, titmouse, finch, jay and junko, wren,
the downy and hairy woodpeckers
and, in the few seconds I’m able to spot him,
the red headed flicker,
chisel through the suet,
munch on seeds, then,
spewing the remains onto the
squirrels, begging below.
Getting near sunset, I sit
on an old folding chair
and watch them all, piloting
their way through dangling chains and feeders.
They are certain, as they glide
from the woods behind my home,
of the ever available meal waiting for them.
Somewhy they believe the whole arrangement
will be there, through
the November darkening,
the Winters bitterness
and Springs stuttering arrival.
They know of no other possible now
And I’ve seen them in early April,
on the morning after I’ve
put away the feeders and spread
the last seeds along the forests fringe,
in a surprised hop onto the deck rail,
twisting their necks, pondering
the now empty circle of air
where their meal, guaranteed,
used to be.
But, they are part of a
stoic and pragmatic Nature.
They flit off with an accepting chirp,
to hunt for new berries and bleary eyed grubs.
Recently migrated robins join them.
On this mid-November evening,
I know December is approaching.
But this time, for me,
in the pit of my gut,
comes a twist,
a knot of awareness.
It is a recognition that,
sometime, later or sooner,
there will be no Spring for me.
I’ve known this, before.
This evening, I feel it.
But I, too, am of a stoic and pragmatic nature.
I rise from my chair
as the light fades to night,
refill the feeders,
stuff the suet holders…
a little older
as I step inside,
shut the door,
to ready myself