A molting robin with almost no tail zips across the yard and disappears into the elder tree. The sky’s blue skin scored with contrails.
Cloudy and cool. When the sun comes out, the robin rouses himself to poke in the dirt along the wall, his own breast redder than the bricks.
The rattling whine of a power drill. Under the clothesline draped with raindrops, a robin gleans in the dirt, genuflecting at each new find.
Overcast and damp. A robin on the leg of an upturned burn barrel, looking for worms—behavior familiar from its unrelated New World namesake.
Overcast and cold. A European robin lands on a severed limb-end of the elder and casts a critical eye at the pile of withered branches.
Hazy and still—all the builders seem to be done. A robin lands in the firethorn four feet away and fixes me with a dark, unreadable eye.
The soft, liquid song of a robin. A snail trail glistens at the edge of the step. The neighborhood God-botherer warbles far off-key.
A robin is on a slow inspection tour of the ground. In the next garden, a woman talks to a recorded voice about her income tax.
A blackbird sings then eats; a robin eats then sings—both in the elder with its clusters of berries bending lower and lower as they darken.
The nail gun and its echo. A robin like a magician keeps pulling green caterpillars from the dead grass.