The cardinal has it hard. By day,
gardeners poke; squirrels shake
the bush. At night,
raccoons menace her nest.
Twigs, leaves: everything
I, too, stay home with my kids,
but she sits still for hours,
her head: Predators!
Occasionally her bright red mate swoops in,
dropping a worm or a twig.
To my kids I say, "She must be bored.
Everyone she can talk to sits under her butt."
"Maybe she talks with her butt,"
my five-year-old offers, hysterical,
and we laugh, enjoying our day.
I wonder how the cardinal does it,
warming her not-quite companions
while the father flies around, looking busy
doing God-knows-what --
Anything to get away from that dreadfully tedious nest.