The Blue Jay

Five finches idle
on the rim of the birdbath.
One preens a shoulder, feigns disinterest.
Another dips his beak, takes a quick sip.
Two lift from the edge but only swap perches.
A red chested male finally takes the plunge
and jumps right back out.
The others eye him, step aside in respect.
They wait to see who’s next.

A blue jay, impatient,
swoops down from above,
tearing leaves, scattering the finches.
It lands on the bath, looks around,
throws itself into the bowl, flapping and splashing,
hurling water on the ground below,
then rising into the tree to shake off the drops,
before crashing down again, and again,
bound to a bottomless joy.

Published by

Jean Ryan

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in Lillian, Alabama. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel, LOST SISTER. Her short story collections, SURVIVAL SKILLS and LOVERS AND LONERS, are available online. STRANGE COMPANY, a collection of short nature essays, is available in paperback as well as digital and audio editions.

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