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CITY BIRDS – a poem

by Iris Mónica Vargas

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These birds would never serenade you lest they are certain something in return they will obtain. You must open the bird feeder, pour wild bird seeds of cherry flavor, of vibrant reds like micro super moons. Then you must wait, and to their heart’s content they’ll eat, until, that is,  you step foot on the balcony again. Away they will be scared, for they don’t trust you yet. It is not clear when they will. An explosion from the core of the tree, they’ll fly radially outwards upon seeing you. They’ll wait for you to leave before they are to return to their respective branches. Even if you sit nearby to enjoy your own food, keeping your distance, they will not trust you aren’t one who will have them as your dinner. It isn’t currently your plan to hunt them down, a stick in hand, and, as they nay – as you’ve never before heard a bird do – fry them on the pan with fresh herbs from your garden. Basil. Rosemary. Oregano. Perhaps a little bit of cumin, too. You will not eat them. No. You will not – but they don’t know that. It isn’t clear how you will ever be able to convince them otherwise. The most daring will come forth, landing on the rail of the feeder while the others, like pimples on the skin of the tree’s arm, calmly wait, watching from afar the fate of the courageous (or the fool). For they suspect that there is always the odd chance that something will go wrong, that an arm will stretch and reach out, as if from a parallel universe, and take hold of their wings, disregarding the nest for which they must provide. Now, I must say, I don’t know much about birds, you see, but I know this: you think they sing, but theirs is the tense sound you always hum in darkness. I know that city birds may look as if they trusted you, but city birds do not.

They don’t trust anyone.

Copyright: Iris Mónica Vargas / April 23, 2015

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