So it’s cold outside.
But the North heading, South-West setting sun
and I needed to go out to sit a while,
to get away,
(before I started yelling,)
before night fall and the next
blast of wintery mix.
Yes, I know,
my wife, who loves me,
and my step-daughter,
whose favorite line to her mother is,
“He’s all yours!”,
and my grand-kids,
a thirteen year old ,
so he knows everything,
so he must be right
and his eight year old sister,
growing less worshipful of him and me,
all think I’m nuts.
They tell me.
They tell me all the time.
Yes, I know,
our “trying to sell and flee South neighbors”
stare at me through their living room bay window
and say, with resigned sighs,
“He’s out there again! He’s nuts!
Thermometer says 20 degrees, for Cris’-sake!!
I like to sit on the back deck
and watch my birds eating from my
Droll Yankee Feeders and suet holders.
So what if it’s twenty and dropping?
Then, after a half hour or so,
(my wife says two hours)
a woodpecker, hairy or downy,
I’m not sure
lands on a sapling and stares at me,
sitting on a borrowed dinning room chair,
all the deck furniture stowed in the garage…
He doesn’t peck at any bark.
Doesn’t flit from branch to branch.
He just perches there, staring,
I decipher his subtext:
“This guy’s nuts!
I have to be out here,
slamming my beak into birch and pine!
but this idiot doesn’t!”
“Will the real bird-brain please stand up?”
I creak up from the chair,
leaving it there for…
I go inside,
make a banana and peanut butter sandwich
on pumpernickel toast,
shiver a little,