On a load of firewood brought in from the brush,
I found a hidden passenger–a tiny woodland thrush.
Her chest was full and spotted, her voice was pure and sweet.
She fluttered down from mossy branch to hop around my feet.
Now and then her piping voice insistently orated
whatever controversy it was that birds debated.
Then patiently she stopped her motion and commenced her waiting
as though she found my company a trifle irritating.
I admit it was despicable I had no food to offer—
no caterpillars, spiders or woodlice in my coffer.
No elderberries in my fridge. No pokeweed in my cupboard.
I fear I do not qualify as avian Mother Hubbard.
The cabin I vacationed in was small and isolated.
A solitary traveler, I was neither matched nor mated.
And so this avian visitor was much appreciated,
although my talents as a host were somewhat addlepated.
I opened up the cupboard and found a millipede—
a meager little morsel—a paltry little feed.
But the thrush dined most politely, then dove into the dirt
of a nearby planter in search of her dessert.
A fat green salamander rounded off her meal.
And though I somewhat questioned their culinary appeal,
I mined a nearby cobweb for beetles, ants and flies,
then set a tiny plate of them before my small guest’s eyes.
She gobbled down each tidbit, then hopped up on a chair
(as though I’d placed it there expressly for her derriere)
and gave a lovely concert—her tones both clear and bright
before she took her exit—flying into the night.
The rest of my vacation, I had guest after guest,
but of all companions, that wood thrush was the best.
Hers was the very easiest meal for me to cater
and she the only guest who served as exterminator