In the cattails, long leaves
like a thatch of swords
after a war, hem the water in—

veil the mud hens putzing
close to shore where bullfrogs
freeze in the sun

waiting for something good
to come along this irrigation pond
trying to go wild. I have come

to love their god-awful birdsong
like rusty hinges on a pipe gate
yodeling in the tight places,

musical cascades turned loose
to lyrics I still don’t understand.
I say I think they’re courting

because its spring, because
you and I have stopped
to watch them sing.


5 responses to “REDWINGS

  1. Never see them in my area anymore now that concrete has overtake anything that could support wildlife. Not even a toad in the garden anymore or a gopher in the yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’ve been scarce during the drought. We had one show up for a couple of years, waiting for spilled grain when we saddled our horses. He had red epaulets on his shoulders and quite tame. We called him the general.


  2. Lovely poem & an enticing pic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really lovely poem, John. I enjoy seeing the redwings. 🙂


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