Issue Twenty-Eight - Summer 2016

The Certainty of the Anna’s Hummingbird

By Sherry Rind

Against the dirty clouds he’s no bigger than a word
and the waves of his tinny chirp drift
across the yard before falling noiselessly,
dusting the bare lilac tree without waking it.
He does not know, of course, he can drop dead
at any moment. Nor do I, though I pretend to
imagine it for both of us. Each time
I step outside, I look for him. He has important work
just staying alive, keeping his carbon burning.
How can he be alive at all, a hummingbird in January
in the north where no flowers bloom
but the forced hyacinths and orchids behind glass
in our houses where they make a pretense of spring?
Perhaps a neighbor has put up a feeder of sugar-water;
perhaps my yard has such unbearable sweetness
that he cannot leave.

Copyright Rind 2016