Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

In Response to the Birds Chirping
and Calling Out to Me on my Deck

by Vivian Wagner

I’m sorry, birds, for not always
keeping the feeders filled,
for failing to buy grain and seeds
again, even though
they were on my list,
along with all the breads and fruits
and cheeses and kibbles
it takes to keep two almost-grown
human children and a dog alive.
Please forgive me for my
shopping oversights, for my
aching muscles, for my
many and various failures.
I’m sorry, too, about the birdbath.
which needs to be cleaned and
topped off with fresh water.
I forgot to put up the
hummingbird feeder this
spring, too, and for that, I’m sorry.
I’m trying my best to sustain
abundance, to do everything,
to gather and scatter all the
bits and pieces of flax and
sunflower and syrup, but
I know it’s never enough.
Forgive me. But I have heard
rumors there are still mulberries
and raspberries, that the
creek still flows, and look!
the sun’s bright honey this morning.
Check there first and see what
you can find. I will, too.
Together we’ll peck and claw
our way back to plenty.

Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she teaches English at Muskingum University.