Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Wyatt, "Unnamed," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 2002) 70(2).


Copyright 2002, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.



A yellow and black bird came to the apricot tree
this morning. I'd not seen it
before, in any of the yards here. I expect
to see such birds in the eastern woods,
not in these relatively arid tracts.

I couldn't identify it. Grosbeak? I had
no Guide, only gloomy thoughts
of no specific origin.

The bird stayed for no more than seconds.
It had a chunk of black on its throat,
like a thumbprint. Its wings never
were quiet.

Then it flew off, shrieking,
and the branch it was perched on joined
the swaying of the other limbs
in a breeze. All
but silent like my thoughts. Early in the day.
The jays' romping I could hear.