Food is your first priority,
but there’s danger from above and below.
Remember, each meal could be your last —
the rain that quenches your thirst
can just as easily drown you.
Watch for shadows, but don’t jump at them
lest you waste your hard-won energy
on a Jay instead of a raptor.
Be wary of the cowbird’s eggs
they borrow precious space,
at the expense of your brood.
Be mindful of starlings,
(jealous souls with murderous intent.)
They’ll kill your young
to make room for their own.
Wind is as deadly to newborn chicks
as stray cats and lawnmowers.
Don’t take time for granted.
You may have a year or three or five,
but, remember, we are birds —
born to die too soon.
Fly often and with joy.
If you learn the language of the sky
you may survive to perch
on the highest branch of the tallest pine
and rub your beak
against the mountain’s cold spine.
Only then will you understand
that your life is not small or fleeting,
but as endless as the web
that holds the world together.