The Eastern Towhee Is Back

by Hope Miller

We’ve been here for three years
but have never seen you,
black-capped with a rusty
splash aside a white belly.

“Drink your tea,” you tell us
even though that’s what we do
as we attend the great window.
Bundled in our robes, we watch
with wonder as you scratch
and hop through the oak litter,
the crunchy browns of the leaves
curl against your orange flair.

Audubon calls you “sometimes secretive
but often common.” Like an omen,
an obscured portent.
How long
have you been here?


How long will we last?

It depends.

photo credit: Steve Byland, Getty