Hummingbird on the Wire

Robert Wrigley

Humming “Bird On the Wire,” I notice there’s an actual hummingbird on the wire

that keeps the feeder high above the bear, the feeder that dangles below the hummingbird on the wire.

June, and it’s hungry, this bear, and made uneasy as I thump the windowsill, humming “Bird On the Wire.”

O preternatural and eerie mild winter that left for bears little winterkill, even as the hummingbird on the wire

drives off all the other hummers and will not share the feeder’s sweet red spill. I’m humming “Bird On the Wire”

when it stands up and waves a paw, the hungry bear. No bear food near here, no bear food anywhere. Just a hummingbird on the wire, and me, humming “Bird On the Wire.”

Robert Wrigley lives in the woods near Moscow, Idaho, with his wife, the writer Kim Barnes. Penguin will publish his new book of poems, The True Account of Myself as a Bird, in June, 2022.