The Kinglet

Out a window I see a kinglet, his ruby crown, like a legionnaire’s crest, dipping side to side.

He is on the move, and suddenly, I blink and he has launched toward another branch, his wingbeats urgent.

His toes curl, gain purchase on a twig. He feasts on a particularly plump inchworm, a minuscule, dawdling Hannibal, then he unclenches his toes: there is still much to be done, whole campaigns to wage against polka-dotted Gauls and fuzzy Huns.

I return to my book and flip through the pages. My eyes trip over the words. Urgent as the kinglet, I now turn another page and become entranced.

Finished, and my own campaign a success, I parade through my mind what I have won. At first I close my eyes, but reopening them, I pull another volume from the shelf. My fingers curl around the spine, then uncurl, as I pass over the title page.

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