My mother, who knows nothing about birds, points to the nest.
The eggs have hatched and all we can see from afar are
three, thin, little needles bobbing up and down towards the sky.
If we stop talking for a second,
we can hear the high-pitched cries of the hungry chicks.
"I wonder where the mom goes off to." My mother says.
I know exactly where, because I've been out here
perched on a ladder watching birds for hours.
I signal to the top of the Pine Tree.
For the first time, we see the mom with another hummingbird in flight.
“Look,” my mother says. “There’s the dad.”
“Probably not.” I tell her.
Hummingbirds are the least romantic of birds.
Soon after mating, they each go off to another partner.
They don’t even stay together to raise their young.
The female builds the nest alone.
She also cares for them all on her own.
My mom doesn’t ask why
I know all these hummingbird facts.
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
This poem was written in response to the surprise ekphrastic challenge on birds.
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara received an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. Her fiction has previously appeared in Chicago Literati, Genre, Sonora Review and Badlands Literary Journal. Her poetry has appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry and Ekphrastic Review. She lives in Los Angeles, California where she watches birds all day, every day.
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