Remember the year we had bluebirds there?

How they came back the next year, poked their noses

in and changed their minds? After that it was all swallows,

after we knew to clean out the twigs to get the house

ready for renters. Swallows or wrens. Oh, they might

have been wrens, sometimes. They might have been

wrens all along, but I like the word swallow. I think

they were swallows. That tiny slender trilling down

the scale. Wrens sound like their bodies, compact

and insistent. It was good to have either,

and their chicks. Especially their chicks, evident

only by the to-and-fro of the mothers, their fierce

judgments. It was good to have that life greet us

at the corner of the house. Bluebirds, we felt blessed.

They let us know who was in charge: blast, blast, chitter.

Also the color, the royal robes.  But the swallows,

the way they swooped in and out! Who doesn’t love

the word swooped? When they were crossing

to the trees beyond our drive, remember how we’d sit

in our kitchen chairs by the glass doors? It was so

peaceful to watch  that industry, that tiny hope

carrying on, not caring a whit about us.