At four they start their chorus, after a bit of a tune-up,
in the spring of the many birds—I don’t know when
I’ve seen such numbers, from bite-sized chickadees
to the fattest robins on record, showy cardinals
to mean-spirited jays. Whether their rousing strains
constitute a melodious symphony or merely a
cacophonous racket remains a question for debate—
a delight for the early riser but hardly conducive
to an open-windowed lie-in on a Saturday morning.
They flit about the garden and the branches of the
as yet unbloomed crepe myrtle shading my bedroom,
their arias invading my dreams and goading the cats
to sharpen their claws for a pre-dawn hunt.
The early ones create the earworms, their agents
and producers probably taking a generous cut.
T. Allen Culpepper