In my back yard,
there’s a strip of lawn,
ten feet wide,
fifty feet long.
It’s a feeding zone where,
during the years Nancy and I
have lived here,
we have fed the birds and animals
suet, meley-worms, black-oil-sunflower-seeds, sugar-water,
all hanging in green-grill-holders,
glass bulbs with yellow flowers
for the hummingbirds,
half-filled-bags of last nights cinema popcorn
and slightly moldy loaves of rye bread,
crumbed-up and tossed about.
Enough food for an air-forse of
cardinals, thrashers, blue-birds…
who have come to know my back-yard
as their dining room,
where they can get anything they want,
(maybe even Alice!)
with a bird bath at each end of the
filled with clean, fresh water
to wash the food down.
Even some fox-gray-and-brown-squirrels,
and two nervous voles
find food there.
And it’s all free-for-all-of-them!
For me, it’s a tithe I pay the Creator
and Lowes Hardware and Garden Mega-store
for the privilege and luxury
of watching Nature eat.
There’s always food there
and I pride myself in that
and I hope there always will be!
Squirrels chase cardinals.
Thrashers chase tit-mouse.
Ravens chase voles.
Shadows of circling hawks
panic all of them.
I wish I could teach them lessons they need
so they might feed
without reverting to the instincts
of the bully on the block.
I saw a news photo
of a Syrian migrants baby
washed up on a Greek beach,
drowned on the sea edge
of a wealth of nations.
Is it fair to find fault in a finch
for fighting his blue-bird-brother
when the Mediterranean licks
the rotting carcass of a child
on its shores
while bloated countries build walls
to keep the hungry
from their grocery stores?
So I’ll keep buying bird food
in the hope against hope
that some of Mothers children
will learn to forsake their greed
and share their suet and their seed.