There’s a rule among birds,
If it’s singing, it can’t be killing,
Which may, or may not, be true,
Except for the family of plump chickadees,
Who wintered beneath our cedar arch.
With their black caps and gray-backed wings,
They flitted from rail, to pan, to chair, to deck,
To aspen perch, peeking in at us,
Until I plucked my first A minor–
The 3rd and 5th string,
A melancholy chord found in most songs,
Even the chickadees’, it turns out,
When they hear you sing.