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The Birdwatcher

By Cristina A. Montes

I know these streets by species of birds:
Here, the sunbirds suck nectar from flowers,
There, the shrike perches on a tree,
Here, the egrets nest in the empty lot
Where vegetation has gotten wild,
There in a tree a flowerpecker sings.

Here is my favorite street,
With the tree in whose lush branches
The black-naped orioles hide
And whistle to each other
As I pass by and linger,
Hoping to espy
Their bright yellow plumage which gives me joy
At seeing a village bird
So cheerfully colored.

That was long ago,
When walks could be taken,
Before the virus forced us
To lock ourselves inside.
Meanwhile the orioles
Still whistle to each other
And I can still hear them
And I wonder if they miss me
For surely I miss them –

These days, only bright yellow birds
Whistling to each other
Can cheer me up.

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