bird wishes



They’re back again this year. Probably the offspring of the offspring of the offspring. The male, his head a shade of sunset, perks his face at me, startled inside my kitchen window. A dark flutter of wings. They are attempting, as one pair of them always does, to build a nest on our rolled-up outdoor window blind.

The female perches there most often, tilting gray head, puffing patterned torso feathers. She appears the more intent on making this happen, making it work. But the rolled-up blind is only the width of maybe a double-sized paper towel roll. While I realize a tree branch is narrower still, I note the forked structure up in a maple, the lending of stability by natural woody abundance.

It simply must look so darn good to her. The inner side of the vinyl blind, shaded against the house. Perfect protection, she must think. Stability. Little hubby birdie perhaps casts a dubious eye at first, but she insists. No, I want this place.

Today a wad of grasses bunches beside her, nestish. Yet not. Even I from my human kingdom can recognize, as I always do, that it doesn’t measure up to the extent of quality necessary. The shelf is too narrow. Little she-bird, I know you know this, but you putz about, unwilling to admit it aloud inside yourself just now. After all this labor.

Boy, I understand that. I’ll feel it with you, a tiny throat lump after you’re gone, when final forlorn, twiggy grass-decor slides to the ground. Will you notice, though, I wonder, from your sturdy nest amid apple blossoms, my husband bustling out there, releasing the cord and lowering the blind in a sure movement to shade our window without guile? Leaving stable foundations to the arbors.

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