Poem: "The Birds Gather for Band Practice"


"The Birds Gather for Band Practice"

A poem by Rachel E. Watson, inspired by The Beatles, Stephen Crane, and my own dear backyard birds.

The birds have gathered for band practice,
in the branches of our backyard.
We are their landlords only
while they tune and fiddle,
scrape and screech.

A close listen lets me know
they all sing different songs.
“Will they agree on a set list
at some point?” I wonder to myself
while my husband thumbs his life of Crane.

I watch the pine grosbeak straddle a branch,
and I pretend he balances a cello
between his spindly feet,
drawing the bow as he calls to his fellows
to give him middle C.

Next tree over, the orange-crowned warbler
deftly belts out the note, takes a bow
and hops from bottom to top
of the stately aged oak tree
to collect the grosbeak’s thanks.

I see a plain old robin competing for attention,
repeating, re-bleating her top-heavy tune
to an uncaring chorus of finches,
swallows, wrens and woodpeckers –
witnesses all to a cacophony of crowing.

The night closes in and the birds seem to notice,
taking to wing and rushing around,
as if packing their instruments,
saying harried, final goodbyes,
and heading for the home road.

The blackbird picks up the song they dropped,
lending them a metronome to leave by.
He vows to stay in that tree
and artfully close the cadence
of the backyard birds’ band practice.

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Nancy said...

As I read the poem, I can see and hear the whole band practice.

Rachel E. Watson said...

Awesome, great feedback! Thank you! 👍

Rachel E. Watson said...

Oops, I tried to post a few comments that had emoticons from my phone. I oughta know by now that doesn't work on this blog. :) Thanks again for reading and sharing a kind thought.

Rachel E. Watson said...

... It doesn't work *YET.* ;)