Monday’s Portrait: Portrait of Hummingbirds
Earlier this summer we took a family trip to Bear Lake. One evening, sitting on the deck of our cabin, a blur of beating wings interrupted our view of the blue water. I heard it before I saw it – the buzz that tore a hole in the air, slicing it open as neatly and swiftly as a seam ripper. The loud chirrup. And then the tiny flash of beak and feathers. There was a pause of conversation, of thoughts and of words, as we briefly pondered the world of the hummingbird.
HummingbirdsThe female, and two chicks,each no bigger than my thumb,scattered,shimmeringin their pale-green dresses;then they rose, tiny fireworks,into the leavesand hovered;then they sat down,each one with dainty, charcoal feet -each one on a slender branch -and looked at me.I had meant no harm,I had simplyclimbed the treefor something to doon a summer day,not knowing they were there,ready to burst the ledgesof their mossy nestand to fly, for the first time,in their sea-green helmets,with brisk, metallic tails -each tulled wing,with every dollop of flight,drawing a perfect wheelacross the air.Then, with a series of jerks,they paused in front of meand, dark-eyed, stared -as though I were a flower -and then,like three tosses of silvery water,they were gone.Alone,in the crown of the tree,I went to China,I went to Prague;I died, and was born in the spring;I found you, and loved you, again.Later the darkness felland the solid moonlike a white pond rose.But I wasn’t in any hurry.Likely I visted allthe shimmering, heart-stabbingquestions without answersbefore I climbed down.