Common Yellowthroat

A chip of sun
alights on a reed
catching the blade
sideways–
Wings flutter,
beak rubs quick
twice
up and down against the shaft.
Her fat little body
a yellowgreen tear
hung from clutching claws
ready to fall.
The reed sways
yellowgreen like her
and bright in the sun —
sways
but does not bend.

I can’t look away
but that’s nothing to her
and she’s off —
like that —
into the reeds
stolen by flickering wings
herself her own thief
carrying off the secret
I didn’t know I’d seen
until – quickwinged –
she was gone
and with her
a flare of life
I’ll never be able to hold
long enough
to know.

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