Hunting empathy in my backyard

In the last year, since we hung the feeder,
I have become so full of joy
watching the birds come and go, their antics,
the brave defense by sparrows
against blue jay incursion.

But it hangs empty now,
as we abide by guidance
to stop spread of the songbird epidemic.
I have enjoyed all the flowers
in my non-organized
rambling bit of garden,
and wait for them to come each year.

But the liatris has taken over
the sedum’s place,
shoved the daylilies aside,
and we do not cut it back,
because, favorite of all pollinators,
it gives itself to butterflies.

If I love so much my birds of the air
and flowers of the field,
which give me moments of backyard joy

how much more (ah what a Jesus-y phrase)
will those who have become rich
from the oil industry, coal,
corporations of deforestation.
production endless plastic waste,
hate to let go
their pleasures and profits
for the sake of the life of the world.

To them it is just butterflies.

It was hard for me to decide
to let the songbirds leave their perch,
outside my very own window,

so they may keep singing
somewhere.

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13 Responses to Hunting empathy in my backyard

  1. beautiful- now the song will be in our hearts – a joy to witness ❤❤❤🎶

  2. beegood1 says:

    Amen to watching the birds in bird feeders we have blue birds

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Maren says:

      Here is hoping the epidemic doesn’t move into Maine — we are told to take them down and it has been traveling up the coast. So sad. God protect these little friends.

  3. SJCFamily says:

    Love this – love you! Thank you. You gave me something real to feel and think and I always need that! with love – Ashley

  4. I didn’t know there was an epidemic among eastern songbirds. I’m really sorry about that. In Hawai’i, avian malaria has devastated some of the species unique to these islands, forcing many to live above the range of mosquitoes. Blessings on the birds of the air!

  5. Jackie Kendall-Gebel says:

    Tear tear, oh my. So touching.

  6. You hold up the mirror to the ambiguities we are caught in, as well as the precariousness of so much that is beautiful in our damaged world.

    • Maren says:

      Yes, even knowing what we do that may be harmful shifts like quicksand. I pray for the balance of those things that emerge as new possibilities to do good.

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