June 20, 2022

What’s the use, little one?
You daily peck the mulch
of summer’s torpor, then
carry a dead blade of grass
up to the birdhouse, where you
disappear into a black hole
the size of my thumb.

A minute later, you do it
all over again, beaking the pile
of bark and old vegetation below
to find just the perfect fragment
of ribbon, sun-dried
in the sparseness of drought.

You vanish once more
into the tiny architecture
of darkness, doing whatever
your housekeeping demands,
making a bed for your young,
who will presently hatch,
or fall, awaiting the mouth
of next door’s cat.

Yesterday, and into the morrow,
you work, all flourish and flutter,
confident of something I cannot fathom,
your winged persistence some reason
for your daily labors, your blind instinct
a feathered hope.