Monday, February 20, 2017

Starling the Trickster

Monday, February 20, 2017

You fooled me, trickster
with your staticky singing
from the pear tree in late morning
a perfect call ringing:
"killdeer, deer, deer,"
from your bill to my ear
made me drop the axe I was about to swing
and run to the open yard
searching skyward for that 
shorebird sign of spring!

You fooled me later, the day far gone,
with a near perfect rendition of tundra swan.

And now I find
as I search my mind
for a reason to dislike you
that disaffection grows
as melting snows recede
and crocuses poke through.

Soon comes the season of your usurping
nest sites not meant for you.
Try as we might, you still alight
and prospect, select, and build
Secretly at first, then in a burst
your song comes in squeaky trills.

We shout and wave
you fly away
and we believe we've won!
Yet deep inside the martin gourd
incubation has begun.

February 20, 2017
Whipple, Ohio, USA