‪Bluebird. Wild turkey. The first phoebe’s soliloquy. Eventually he rounds the house and hovers under the porch roof, bill snapping on a fly.‬

Cloudless and still. As the thermometer needle inches past freezing, the first bluebird of spring warbles once up by the barn.

Cool and humid. A chickadee and bluebird perch side by side in the walnut tree before flying down into their respective holes in the stump.

The decrepit stump next to my porch now houses a second nest: chickadees have moved into the hole below the bluebirds. Sun. A distant raven.

Both bluebirds land on top of the stump, look at me, and warble aggressively. In the lily-of-the-valley bed, the bells are fading to brown.

I’d thought the bluebirds’ nest in the stump next to the porch had failed, but no: they just wait till I’m gone to go in. I am their troll.