A Bird Came Down the Walk

A poem by Emily Dickinson:

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

This poem reminds me of a mockingbird I see every time I walk to the garden in the morning. The bird sits there on top of the street sign, whistling as I pass, and even lets me approach without nudging an inch, but as soon as I turn the camera on he flutters away–not frantically but calmly, as if to say, “close but missed me again!” Yes, being mocked by a mockingbird every morning is now part of my routine, and one of the small pleasures I carry with me for the rest of the day. As they say, it’s the little things…

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