Bird Poem for Dad on Father’s Day 2014

Double Glass Panes


We watch through the kitchen window,

Coffee cups on the counter,

Looking at birds under the trees.

Dad has just come in from filling the seed feeders and

Flinging the crumbled bread.


Little brown birds, brazen black ones,

Married cardinals, and a single jay.

The birds swoop, flutter in, alight,

Careful yet secure as they near

The boundary of bird and human beast.


Once a blackbird carried a big chunk of bread to the birdbath,

Dipped it in water, then hopped sideways, dipped it again,

Three times and a fourth, at the points of the cross

On the circular bath.

“Is he washing the bread?”

“Maybe he’s softening it with water.”

“Quite a large piece of bread; hope he doesn’t drop it.”

“Maybe he’s baptizing the bread.”


In his well-used field guide Dad points out the woodpecker who

Sometimes visits. There he is. (“He,” never “it.”)

Dad welcomes him with peanut butter on a stale slice of bread

Wedged in a branched V where no other beak

but the woodpecker’s can easily get it.


The jay is welcome, the blackbirds too. A single pigeon is

Suffered, but more than one must be shooed away:

Greed, aggression, must be discouraged.

We are old, and our eyes are weak, and we won’t discriminate.

The birds, a pair or a flock, shy or forward, individual.



One comment on “Bird Poem for Dad on Father’s Day 2014

  1. Betsy Wilks says:

    Lovely lovely poem

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