Chickadees in the Hawthorn Tree
from The Volunteer
Seed on a tray remains
untouched, those black-capped
their tussle with dark fruit.
Mid-August, the heavy
green silence of afternoon heat broken
only by a raucous indigo
arrow gliding from tree to fence,
to tree again. The jay
claims this yard. Lettuce
bolts but stays sweet. During winter
we will be fed by what grows
today. The pantry holds
applesauce in quart jars, dark treasure
pots of blackberry jam, chutney,
pickled beets, apple butter.
In those wet dull months, hungry
for this elusive and brief
season, we’ll watch
the feeder: the flash of migratory
birds, the dependable colors
of old friends.