Friday, August 04, 2006

summer vireos

the ethereal peeps and airy whistles
almost inaudible if you pay no attention
but they are there like sea waves
nagging the shore line
the female vireo flitters
from the aspen to the cedar
to the water spigot
to the nest with grasshopper
or fly in a fluttering feathery
flapping wing sound hovering
spying for safety
making a rapid deposit
in the young chicks beak
then back to a branch
in a routine as old as life
the four immature fledglings
are bunched together
on an inner ledge of my front porch
balancing and stretching their wings
roaring to get on with the air
shaking mites and excrement dust
down on porch chairs
a month ago I pulled the nest down
trying to discourage their activity
but the next morning the nest returned
more completed and determined
so I succumbed to that greenish-gray bird
so ensconced in maternal instinct
becoming a proxy parent vicariously
and now this morning the nest
is off the ledge and divided
part on chair part on floor
pieces left by chance
no trace of off spring
only stick debris and chick poop
my wish is that no cat got them
I wouldn’t have heard over
the thunder storm the wind
they are gone
they are peeps and airy whistles
they are on their way back
next year

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