hummingbird

A flat white sky. The ambiguous gestures of random leaves, waving or perhaps drowning in the thick air. A hummingbird is here and gone.

Another perfect morning. A hummingbird lifts off from the bergamot, tailed closely by a moth. The quiet, anxious calls of a titmouse.

Below the porch, I notice a single orange jewelweed overlooked by the deer. The hummingbird zips right past it on her way to the garden.

Cool and quiet. A female hummingbird ignores the bergamot to drink from the soapwort, their plain, pale faces glowing in the weak sunshine.

The sudden buzz of a hummingbird rocketing back and forth in a mad parabola of attraction, the female watching from a dead lilac limb.

An early-morning storm rumbles off to the north. Flashes of scarlet: tanager at the woods’ edge, ruby-throated hummingbird at the beebalm.

A light mist rises from the rain-soaked grass. Just as I’m writing this, a hummingbird buzzes in to inspect the red lettering on my T-shirt.

Heard but not seen: a hummingbird skirmish. The mist thickens to drizzle, and right on cue a yellow-billed cuckoo—so-called rain crow—calls.

Above the almost-blooming lilac, a hummingbird is doing his courtship display, rocketing back and forth like the pendulum of a crazed clock.

The groundhog that woke me with its bumping under the floor grazes serenely on wild onions. The first hummingbird zooms past the porch.

A furious buzzing from around the house where hummingbirds duel over the last few beebalm flowers. A half-grown fawn emerges from the woods.

Two catbirds tangle in the air above the stream. A hummingbird dive-bombs a gnatcatcher. The first great-crested flycatcher holds forth.

Strange cries coming from the powerline—mammalian, possibly ursine. I’m mesmerized by the sun on the creek. The first hummingbird zips past.

Thin clouds; the sun is a bright smear. A hummingbird hovers over the spent flowers in my garden, nudging a yellow leaf with her bill.

A hornet nuzzles my arm like a hoverfly but doesn’t sting. In the garden, the buzz of hummingbirds dueling over scraps of bloom.

In the two months I’ve been away, my yard and garden have turned alien, taken over by stiltgrass. The buzz of a hummingbird in the bergamot.