There’s a robin in the ash tree, facing the south.
He is singing sweetly:
Mine! This is mine! My tree!”
From the elm in the back I hear his friend
This one too! mine!
And another in the apple tree by the river:
Don’t even try it! Mine!
The south facing aspen robin moves, perching over my car, and shits. he is silent, and glares at me. Robins are so passive aggressive.
Across the coach road, route four, my road, the highway…
A mourning dove (note the U. It’s important.) cries
Well fine! But this? This is mine. Tonight. Unless, you know… you want it. I hear there’s room in the old shed, if, you know, you need us to move.
And the meek shall inherit the earth.
The cardinals are silent, they chased the jays out weeks ago, and need no proclamations.
A flash of tangerine and slate, and an oriole lands on the dead tree across from me. He’s new to town, as is his wife and their couple-friend. He looks at me closely, cocking his head this way and that. Orioles were the center of the bingo card of bird feeder watching when I was a kid. I don’t know their song, I’ve met so few. He chirps at me. I shrug helplessly. He chirps again, a questioning lilt.
Oh no, they’re not bothering me.
I don’t know what I mean by that, but he does. He flies sure-winged to the cluster of aspen that grows at the end of the road, unclaimed, and settles in.
His nest will be the first to see the dawn.