Poor Imitation

We waited for a downy, resplendent in black and white,
to discover the suet we hung outside on the deck
to honor the solstice,
when darkness overwhelms light.

We waited for a downy to amuse us,
to slide, clueless, down the railing
when insight, a well-placed toe hold,
would assure access to the fat.

We waited for a downy, male or female,
the sharpest beak, not brain, in the forest,
to notice the white confined behind black wires.

But the only black and white we saw
were the feathered rows of carbon and ash squares
tracing the top of the log burning inside our home.

Seeding the Snow Spring-Summer 2012
A Journal of Women’s Writing and Artwork Celebrating the Midwestern Landscape