A Twist in the Tale: Winter Bird

Close up of small sparrow on fir tree branch

By Jenny Kalahar

You’ll see it everywhere in December: human animals decorating their nests, their trees, and themselves for the holidays. Other animals love to decorate, too. This sparrow has apparently been peeking into windows for holiday ideas.

Winter Bird

Silent as night
A sparrow grips lilac branches
Settles again, looking everywhere
For the sake of worry
For the sake of hope
Searching skies and the field of crisp, new snow
For something to catch his eye against the white
And when he sees the thing he needs
He breathes in and aims
Before carrying his prize home

Landing again
As silently as night
Atop an evening pine
One as perfect as any forest ever held
He has brought strands of tinsel to twine
Through tough and tender boughs
Adding silver to dark green
To red berry clusters, like ornaments
To icicles, hung by nature
To bits of ribbon tucked into pine cones

And in another short flight out
He finds the final embellishment
An angel doll left in the snow
At a roadside camp once, long ago.
Finished, this bird breathes in and aims high
Soaring higher into the evening heavens to better view
What has taken weeks of work and hunting:
His gift of Christmas to the world

Jenny Kalahar, her husband Patrick, and their pets live in Indiana where she sells used and rare books and writes novels and poetry. She is the author of a fantasy novel about teens stuck with the worst-ever magical power, This Peculiar Magic. Her two novels about fostering cats are Shelve Under C: A Tale of Used Books and Cats, and The Find of a Lifetime. Her collection of nostalgic and humorous poetry is One Mile North of Normal and Other Poems. For more, visit her blog.

More from Jenny:

Waggles Would Have Wanted It

A Hedgehog Prepares for the Holidays

The Tale of the Great Pupkin


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