Seasons In My Life


reflections from a female chickadee


Autumn. Hippocampus swells. I collect

1,000 seeds a day, remember

each storage niche. 


That’s half my winter diet. Spiders, 

insects provide balance. Less predictable

more satisfying. 


If a human ate like a bird, 

she would chow down 

25 pizzas each day. 


Winter. Stash seeds in clusters

of spruce needles, bark crevices. Brain cranks 

with urgency, oncoming cold.  

I amass 8,000 seeds this season. 


Spring. Settle into abandoned woodpecker

cubby, softened with moss, dead marmot fur.

Same neighborhood; we don’t migrate. 


I doze all day, grow heavy. Legs stiff, 

wings creaky. Babies 

rustle in their eggs until too large, 

start to break through. My mate brings food, news. 


Summer. Fledglings famished. 

I capture 1,000 small caterpillars daily.  

Solid protein for sturdy bones, keen vision. 


Sunlight arrives early, stays late. Titmice,

warblers, nuthatches call 

from nearby willows. Their babies, 

too, squeak with hunger. 


Ducks dive through pond’s surface, 

trout rise, wide mouths eager for flies, 

mosquitos. Burgeoning livens my days.  


Limbic brain shrinks. 

Food is plentiful. 

I feel light.

Christy Wise

Christy Wise is a poet, essayist and author. Her poems have appeared in Evening Street Press, Anthem, and The Raven’s Perch, among others. Christy is co-author of “A Mouthful of Rivets: Women at Work in World War II.” Her essay, “Memory Book” was a notable essay in Best American Essays 2010. Christy feels most at home walking along the Pacific Ocean and hiking in Desolation Wilderness.

Late Summer, Block Island