I am mentally marking walnut saplings for removal when they fill with migrants: yellow-rumped and palm warbler, ruby-crowned kinglet.
A swarm of maple helicopters. I sneeze and a wren begins to sing. A kinglet rotates in time to the music. We’re in this dance together.
Kinglets drop down out of the trees to join the gnatcatchers hawking insects in the yard. They sing, feint, flash eponymous ruby crowns.
In the green and yellow woods, here and there a red branch. But the kinglets in the birches hide their ruby crowns under olive-green shocks.
As leaves begin to flutter in the rain, I notice the small birds fluttering underneath them, like a flash mob that was there all along.
Where the moon had glowed through ground fog at 4:00, now the sun glimmers. Four ruby-crowned kinglets flutter in and out of the lilac.
Kinglets move through the birches. I think of their statelets: hidden expandable nests, clutch that weighs as much as the bird that laid it.
How does the poison ivy know to turn the same salmon as the red maple it has infiltrated? A phoebe chases a kinglet from the roadside weeds.