Tuesday, November 22, 2011
To the same oak one’s been to every year
Since I’ve been looking. I watched him for awhile.
His black-and-white feathers give him his name.
He circles trunks and limbs to hunt for food.
He catches insect larva crawling there.
The pattern on his back makes him blend in
With ridges and depressions in the bark.
Sometimes he can’t be seen until he moves
Around the trunks to disappear in back.
The imagery of feathers on his back
Is not the random marks like on oak trees,
But quite precise. He wears a short-tailed coat
Or maybe it’s a shawl half down his back
With alternating stripes, wide on the sides.
Below the stripes are bold and more distinct
Much like the four that crown this warbler’s head.
He’s often upside down, and I have read
That his hind toes and claws are extra long
To help this pose, I guess, or help him hunt.
I’m glad he came to Florida today
Because cool weather can’t be far behind.