I put out suet for my chickadees and woodpeckers in the shelter of our discarded Christmas tree, hoping for a glimpse of a hermit thrush, a shy guy that inspires poets. Poets like Amy Clampitt and Henry Van Dyke. They have written poems about this tricky diva, but they hardly hold the rights to the subject in perpetuity.
Here’s an homage to the hermit thrush from WWWW’s very own poet and student of birds, Ronnie. (She’s also author of the memoir, A Particular Friendship, or as I like to say, Go Nun Go. See the sidebar.) I love how closely she studies something that many simply pass by.
The notes of the hermit thrush are sweet, clear, and flute-like.
Just like Ronnie’s words.
In Praise of My Hermit Thrush
You scratch and peck below that scrubby bush.
Busy squirrels ignore your presence.
Their focus is on acorns; lunch for the cold winter months.
You’ve got my attention.
My brain ticks off your features:
brown above with snowy breast,
glitzed with black polka dots at the throat.
And there’s the telltale rufous- colored tail
ready to bob just like my trusty bird book says.
Those dark hazel eyes stare and
I stare back; I can’t believe you’re here.
Poets write of the sweetness of your song
that rises in the still of twilight time.
I know that you won’t sing for me today.
That’s too much to ask.
Your lowered tail announces your good bye.
I’ll miss you, my sweet little anchorite.
Thanks for showing up at my backyard door.
Thanks, Ronnie, for showing up at our blog door. :)