Silence on a February Morning

Silence on a February Morning

On a cold February morningwoodpecker at suet cage
she sat in a lawn chair
on the snow-covered deck
she had cleared with her feet
and listened.

There were no sweet bird songs of spring yet,
no echoing notes or mournful cries
or the disharmony of a minor-key song.
Only the silent movement at the feeders.

The red head of the pileated woodpecker
with its velvety black and white patterned wings
moved against the suet cage,
one of many seeking survival
like she did every day.

Taking turns was the ritual of nature,
birds waiting for the squirrels,
squirrels waiting for the birds,
exquisite, fragile black, white, and gray chickadees
at the window feeder
followed by the sturdy brown nuthatch.
Harmony in the garden.

She had escaped the warmth inside
where angry, hurtful words hung tenaciously in the air
like the frozen icicles clinging to the roof eaves above her,
escaped to survive here
where silence reigned,
where there was a purpose.

Maybe this is how she would spend her last day, she thought,
here in a lawn chair on a cold wintry day,
surrounded by a peaceful harmony she no longer knew,
here on a snow-covered deck
watching the birds
in the garden
in the silence
of a February morning.

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