by Joyce Lott

At first I thought you were female like me, protecting your nest

but I searched the roof and the eaves. I even got up

on a ladder. That’s when I asked my neighbor,

our local wildlife expert.

“If she has a shiny black head, she’s male,” my neighbor said.

“Anyway, it’s too early for nesting, just the beginning of April.”

That drove me crazy. All that bird shit

on the window, an inch deep, no exaggeration, on the garage

windowsill, and you looking like you wanted to peck my eyes out

every time I walked down my own driveway.

“He’s just establishing his territory,” my neighbor said

when I took out my Windex. That long window

seemed like such a good idea

when my husband and I added on the garage,

establishing our territory. But now my husband’s dead

and I don’t need another man taking over my space.

I wouldn’t have minded if he were a she.

I understand nesting insects.

But this is out of the question, a male with a shiny head

deciding that my house, or even my garage, belongs to him.

Joyce Lott is a member of the Cool Women Poets. Finishing Line Press published two of her chapbooks and Garrison Keillor read one of her poems on public radio.

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