December – the remains of the summer garden,
stalks of sea-lavender lined with tiny blossoms,
half fresh, half wasted – among them a hummingbird
in a glistening green vest. Such hard work
this late harvesting, this hanging between fierce
wingbeats before each tiny blue bowl, long tongue
scraping out the last drops of the old year.
Twenty feet away is the feeder I fill faithfully
every few days – one part sugar to four parts water.
I know he knows it’s there. I’ve seen him grip the red
plastic rail and dip his beak again, again, watched
the surface of my offering ripple with his sipping.
Today he rejects my sugar water for flowers almost straw.
Some mornings one just wants the real thing.
© by Nils Peterson.
Used with the author’s permission.