Staring at Trees

This tree is made for staring This morning, as I sat staring at a tree while the coffeemaker labored through its agonizingly slow drip, drip, drip, a crow crossed my field of vision, coming in for a landing on a dead branch protruding from the leafy green. The branch snapped just as the bird's feet made contact, sending a shower of splintered wood to the ground below. This must have confused and angered the crow, because it immediately reversed thrusters and flapped off in a different direction, possibly toward home to reconsider the day's trajectory over a second cup of joe.

After fetchingfinally, and with gratitudesome coffee of my own, I returned to my bench and locked onto another tree where a blackbird sat clacking at one of its many foes. An old Beatles song began playing in my head, and I wondered if this blackbird knew how to sing at all, never mind the time of day. I don't remember hearing a blackbird sing, ever, but especially not in one of those night-of-the-dead zombie flicks. Silly Beatles.

I had just finished my eleventh cup when I discovered another tree halfway between the first and second. As I stood scrutinizing its rough bark, I thought about the troubling wetness on my right foot, and how much coffeemakers and zippers have in common, speedwise. A robin peered at me, head cocked to one side as if listening for a meal. I shook my head, which discouraged the robin and made it fly away. I like trees, but birds sure can be pesky.


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