The Towhee

The Towhee

December 21st, the solstice … yard birds huddle against the advance of winter.







The Towhee

Needles of sleet fell all throughout the night        

  And the towhee pecks at the hardened crust,

    Seeking the moist carpet of leaves below.

      But it is too deep. Only the memory

        Of his stutter step foraging remains:


Of hopping ahead and jumping backwards,

  Of when he tossed aloft the ground cover,

    The turning of each leaf, shoving, pulling,

      And searching for the mysteries beneath.

        He’d been so happy to be that busy


With the bounty of everlasting work,

  Patient in the quest for a tiny seed,

    The egg of an insect, a spent morsel.

      He flies to the white paper birch and joins 

        With the juncos and the chipping sparrow


Perched in the ribs of the tree’s skeleton

  Under the grey breast of the winter sky.

    He waits for the promise of tomorrow

      In the biting wind and the falling snow,

        Warmed by the furnace of his colossal heart.


New numbers in the drill.

Tagged: Columbia River Gorge, Hood River Valley, little things, nature, poetry, winter, winter solstice, writing