• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05


He perches, preening,
flashing his jewel-toned gorget,
coyly chirping and darting,
abuzz with pointless activity.
She, drab and dowdy,
who does all the foraging
of insects and nectar
for their dime-sized chicks,
teeters with exhaustion.
His useless presence is a distraction
likely to attract predators,
but he cannot seem to help
his flamboyant acrobatics.
Behold! the maestro perches
 on a sweet pea plant,
fluttering his baton wings
 to urge inaudible music
from an invisible orchestra,
then swoops down,
to take a bow, sticks out
his chest in pride.
Such a typical male, drunk
with his own self-importance.
Once, just once,
she wants desperately
to sink her needle beak
into his puffed plumage
and deflate him.