cherry tree

A shimmer of moisture in the air. A catbird lands on the cherry stump, cocks his head at me, and sings four notes through a half-open bill.

Everything moves in the wind but the broken dog statue, the dead rosebush, and the five-fingered cherry stump raised as if in surrender.

Dark and rainy. A loud tapping from the far side of the cherry snag next to the porch where a downy woodpecker must’ve spent the night.

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.