Day 12


Famously gregarious, Cedar Waxwings are all about community.
from the American Birding Association’s
announcement of its 2020 Bird of the Year

Day 12 of quarantine
and Day 2 of spring
no wind
but suddenly the tall toyon
wildly dances
bouncing, bobbing
to the weight of cedar waxwings

an annual phenomenon
when dozens —
an “ear-full” says Audubon —
devour bushels of red berries
strip a tree bare
in under an hour

it’s a synchronized plunder
pluck, swallow
retreat to the oak or buckeye
return to the toyon
for another another

And it’s hard not to think
of the stripped shelves
at my Trader Joe’s

as these avian hordes
defy social distance
flaunt their freedom

they only fear
a red-tailed hawk
and the screech
of my casement window
flung open to their allure
and a taste of outside air