• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05

Water-colour wings

It’s hard to tell the shape of a hummingbird’s wings.
Its compact body and needle bill observable as it hovers beside
zinnias, bee balm, salvia, and cardinal flowers.
On rare occasions, I’ve seen its wings tucked against its body
as it rests on bare winter branches.
More often, it is a flit of colour drawing my eyes
away from Puget Sound and the distant mountains.
A quick visit or a long one at the
bright red hummingbird feeder, just outside
the long glass windows of my great-aunt’s house.
As a child on the prairies, we didn’t have hummingbirds.
They were a special occasion bird.
I live further north now, in the boreal forest.
Here, they come.
Not even one or two spend the winter.
Spring may be a few days away, but there’s fresh snow
on the ground. In a few months, the days will be long,
the wind warm, and the hummingbirds will return.
I hope to catch a pic, which might just be good enough
to guess the shape of the hummingbird’s wings.