A portent of spring,
Still garbed in winter’s drab gray
They crowd the feeder—
Six at a time, reserving each perch.
Not vertically challenged,
They cling firmly by strong claws
On the feeder specially designed
For their idiosyncratic lifestyle
Hanging there, heads downward,
They sate themselves while
Performing an avian gymnast’s feat.
And then they’re gone
Back to the bushes
Back to anonymity
Their dining interrupted by forces
Invisible to us.
We can nourish them,
We can admire them,
But we cannot keep them safe.
For that, they rely on their instincts…
And on each other.
What do you do with half an egg?
Unable to digest the yolk
I place it, boiled, on the window sill.
One squirrel, small and thin,
Has caught our eye
He races to it,
Beating out a larger interloper.
Then, quite full of egg and self
He chases the interloper to the yard,
Where he boasts his conquest
By mounting her,
Oblivious to the male cliche
Evoked by his ardor.