Bird Feeder

Stolid junco...groundling,
perturbless, fat, and full,

Gold finch...summer's daffodil,
but all winter dull,

Feuding cardinals sharing seed
with any species other,

Are ill-matched and too ill-mannered
to feed with one another.

Purple finch...the chauvinist,
with plump and dowdy mate,

Siskins, pining to be served,
who only stand and wait.

Grosbeaks and orioles of my youth
that danced in gaudy feather,

Have met with some untimely chance,
and disappeared forever.

Song birds go first...not to return.
Woodpeckers remain,

Rulers of a rotten-tree
and suet-cake domain.

And when the melody is gone,
these drill sergeants persist.

How rudely rational their drum.
How loudly they insist

Upon their one idea,
a tiresome, tuneless tapping,

New nuthatch Age of Reason,
a vulgar, tasteless rapping.

I sometimes think a hairy one
has flashed across my view,

That only proves a downy
when subject to review.

Then pileated monsters
affright me once a year,

Cockaded, round-eyed madness,
too suddenly too near.

My laughter's all nostalgia now.
I go, like W.C,

In fields...all black and white...with
my little chickadee!

I am a ... bird feeder,
caught in a colder clime,

No bunting...painted or indigo...
in my birch or pine.

I share what spirits I'm allowed,
When woods are wrapped in snows,

With these...God's winged creatures...
and shoo away the crows.