Auriparus flaviceps


Valyntina Grenier



I saw you once, in the mesquite thriving over the leach field.

Pale gray bellied bird, lemon cream face,

antique red patches over your wing muscles,

charcoal shadow for your eyes

made to match your beak and legs

your toes obscured by a spray of leaves,

chestnut shoulder patches,

gray upperparts, gray wings.


I carve lines in wax.

You, maximalist-- gather thousands of small lines for a nest.

I represent existence w/ as few as two,

a yellow ark as celestial body a red twig for you.

We are both drawn to replicate the shape of the moon.




You roost from a sphere w/ a little round entry open to the breeze,

gather feathers and fur to insulate the impending brood.

I gather bees confused by perfume from molten hives.


You call, I respond

tsoor-tsoor tsoor-tsoor

the last of your species, old world bird.

I watch your nest in the palo verde wild w/ yellow flowers

from my narrow rectangle of a bedroom window.

I never see you there or hanging upside down

to glean insects.

I know how you like to.



tsoor-tsoor tsoor-tsoor




Valyntina Grenier is a poet and visual artist. You can view her visual art at She hosts Back Room Live and blogs at Life Long Press and Harriet Homemaker.