Nine chickadees hunch
in the packed snow of a tire track
picking spilled seed.

They look so suddenly
earthbound, as if they are what scatters
from the sack, blind
in January sun, sharp
scribbled feet stuck
in the drift,
so many careless darts –

I laugh and laugh.
Love comes to this:
forgetting our wings, we bob about
for scraps until we startle
and recall the sky.

I step near.
The little band explodes
and the last dark ruffle streaks
his line uneven, low across the plowed-up bank,
wild pitch
from strong, unpracticed arms.