I was stirring
honey in my tea
when through the
kitchen window
I spied the bright red
cardinal who had
established himself
Chief of the Yard.
He flight-paced
between the empty feeder
and a mimosa limb.
When he paused,
he looked right at me.
I swear he did.

His angry cardinal
glare and fiery
feathers, all ruffled
and fluffed, set
my priorities.
Tea down,
I went out to the shed
for the bucket of
seed and walked
toward the feeder,
then noticed,
a flash of red diving into
the honeysuckle.

Alone at the tree,
still, I felt watched.
Watched, as I reached
for the feeder,
set it on the ground,
fed it scoopfuls
of black oil
sunflower seeds,
and returned it,
full, to its limb
in the mimosa.

Back at shed distance,
I saw Chief
return and perch,
his beak stabbing,
shells flying,
a black hailstorm
the female cardinal
and the finches
and the wrens
and the chickadees
who must have been
watching from places

We watch each other
for different reasons,
Chief and I.
He watches for food.
I watch for beauty and
flight and poetry.
Reciprocal stalkers
in search of sustenance.
I feed, he eats,
and we are
both filled,
sated with
magnesium and

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved