Red-breasted Nuthatch

Curious, cautious, camouflaged
in flocks of friendly chickadees,
an acrobatic flash of rusty ballast
beneath his plump grey form.
Bursts of movement, punctuated
spongy murmurs nasal and tin
scaling up and down scabby bark
mining furrows for hidden prey.
Black mask, white stripe
above a beak of long-grain rice
probing, gripping, creeping
upside down inverted dance
across stands of spruce and fir.
Wedging, cracking seeds and cache
warmly wrapping a wreath of sap
around its coniferous threshold.

© SF Jones, 2016

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