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Bird Feeding Parable


Landscape with Animals

We watched a tiny bird arrive,a tentative,

tiny explorer scout.
She poked, pecked, tried to derive if it was

just a nibble or a full meal out.

A chickadee, in her striped dress,
is suddenly chipper and alive
with promises of seeds, nuts. Bless
this wintry day, she says. I might survive

after all. Her thoughts were quite

less hopeful before our feeder was in sight.

Her trek has now inspired a following.

Cardinals, wrens, nuthatches, finches

nibbling and picking and swallowing.

Different species, separated by less than inches,

dart from branch to bowl. They’ve agreed on an order.
Places calmly claimed. No one is hollering.

No one has railed about a fence or border.

Alight, then aloft. No regrets, no wallowing

in greed. Territory ceded without a fight.

Life lessons in which we should all delight.

Mary K O’Melveny, a retired labor rights attorney, lives in Washington DC and Woodstock, NY. She is the author of two poetry books, “A Woman of a Certain Age” and “MERGING STAR HYPOTHESES” (Finishing Line Press 2018, 2020) and co-author of an anthology of writing by The Hudson Valley Women’s Writing Group, “An Apple In Her Hand” (Codhill Press 2019). Poetry writing keeps her sane.

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