If you’ve read my poems, you know
I have the joy of feeding birds
in a back-yard–fast-food-free-fly-zone
of shepherds crooks, hung with suet holders, stuffed
and Droll Yankee Spinners
filled with black oil sun flower seeds.
It’s a hobby.
More, a commitment and a simple tithe I offer
for the much recompensed pleasure
of watching, to date,
some thirty species of birds,
black and gray fox squirrels
and brown squirrels and rabbits and voles
and my neighbors predatory cat
as they create a wild kingdom
outside our screen porch windows.
They are the origin and subjects of many of my poems
and the causes for much laughter, and “oohs” and “aahs”
for their frolic, their acrobatic antics
of a fall or summer evening.
But today, a different lesson taught.
As I filled the near empty feeders,
a chick-a-dee scolded me with
an angry, hungry,
hurry me along,
to, “Come on! Get on with it!”
so he and his flock might feed….
But then, an uninvited, guilty thought:
That little, chirping, energetic fellow
might not be chiding me for my
tardy filling of feeders.
He may have just as likely
been singing praises,
praying to his feathered god
or to me for that matter,
giving thanks for providing him, at last,
I felt humbled,
humiliated by my kicked knee reaction
to my feathered wards orisons ,
for ascribing such human motivations to
Mothers favorite little piece of happiness.
Just because my brothers act with such
as a matter of course
doesn’t mean this sainted chick-a-dee
should be accused of acting accordingly,
so much like humanity.
What an insult to the aviary world,
this assumption of human thought and deed!
I apologized to him, immediately,
for dragging him down
to my lower, dirt bound world.