Robert DeMott once again shares a seasonal poem with MidCurrent readers…
Birds in Hand
Years ago, toward dusk on Christmas Eve,
in those few strokes of day left before loved ones
arrived for evening’s ritual of giving and getting
I walked outside, under a woolen batt of sky,
and hauled buckets of bird seed
to fill each feeder in our woodsy backyard—
black oil sunflower for one, thistle for another,
millett and pumpkin seed for a third.
I told myself I was spreading holiday cheer,
for once asking nothing for myself,
as I dipped and ladled at each station
along my route, even stopping here and there
to sweep away empty seed husks and corn cobs
left by marauding crows and squirrels. Then,
out of shadows and tick-tick of falling sleet,
two black-capped chickadees, dressed to the nines
in stylish carroling garb, lit on my bare hand,
pecked seed from its open palm, and were gone.
Friends, in that mindless moment, they were so near
I heard the thrum of their pistoned hearts,
loud enough to carry all this way.