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The Bird Feeder

Sometimes,
not often enough,
I stop my morning routine
to watch the feeding drama breathe feathered flurries in and out,
on,
and under,
my side-yard bird feeder

Outside my kitchen windows
over this morning’s sudsy sink,
looking across a twinkling white field
of early March snow,
simply breathing us all in,
boundary framed inside/outside
by my southern neighbor’s brown-stained fence.

I find myself aggressively prejudiced
against the voracious grey squirrel invaders.
NonElite sparrows share my disappointment
with squirrelish selfish ways.

Usually the squirrels scavenge the ground
and snow below my feeder,
my free-will offering
intended to seduce cardinals
and woodpeckers
and finches
and, yes, the humble brown sparrows,
whose ghreat number of heads,
present today and missing tomorrow,
healthy and harmed,
is indeed an epic mystery
offered in return for my pre-invested feeder.

But, one squirrel,
who usually shows up with a friend,
maybe a girlfriend,
I don’t really know
the texture of their ongoing harvesting journey,
reaping through family life,
romance,
play,
foraging for nutritional climax

But, regardless,
This one squirrel likes to challenge
my daily vegetable-oiled
round
brown
metal pole
that holds a clear plastic feeder
enclosed by a squirrel-deterring wire defense,
which acts more like a perch for equi-poised access
than an effective wall
against unwelcome over-consuming rodents.

I am equally at war with crows,
not because I don’t like them as a species,
which, unfortunately, may be my inhospitable issue
about greedy squirrels,
but because crows travel in aggressive gangs.

And, they don’t live here, in my felt ownership sphere,
They hang around this side of the river
but they don’t live in my neighborhood
because they aren’t suitable
for any one properely humane place.
They need a grander sense of cooperative space.

Rowdy crows do, occasionally, flock and swarm in
to clean out my one inadequate consumer-feeder
and produce poop on everything in sight
but I do not tolerate these assaults
in silent Win/Lose acquiescence.

I run out
to shout
against them.

They listen and rise
to move away
but watch and wait to see and hear
if I will continue this lively scarecrow battle.
Which seems to mutually please us
to repeat twice,
or even thrice.

I repeat these roaring toothless threats,
Until we win together,
drawing more appropriately apart.

Then, too,
I notice some of the blue-jays are more tolerant of diversity
while others poke at smaller birds.
This bothers me.
If some can get along,
why not Win/Win all?

Still,
I seldom intervent.
We have only two blue-jay couples,
so I put out plenty for all
If we are patient enough
to work and play and breathe around each other.

The mourningdoves always salvage off the ground,
winter through summer
They look fat
and dark suit preacherly
as they waddle
and forage what their more flamboyantly aviary cousins
leave for them
underneath my humble feeder.

So little consumer invested
for so much dramatically productive grace,
mutually feeding place.

Yet, I still wonder
why I am so incensed
about the scandalous squirrel
who defies my obviously over-powering will
to not feed him here,
or anywhere
in my garden
or on my struggling fruit and nut trees.

I suppose rodents remind me
too much
of my me-feeder consumptive shamelessness.

 

 

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