A Natural Thief


With no reason for fear
the jay is still jittery,
like a nervous thief
jimmying a patio door,
as if the wrens might rush him
or join forces with the finches
to chase him off.

He grabs a peanut –
his from the start –
and darts away,
celebrating his cleverness
and proclaiming his birthright
from a nearby spruce.

“Never trust a blue jay” he shrieks.
“Never trust me or mine!”

Photo Credits: Art Frith (top), Ostdrossel (bottom). Used with permission.

I wrote this poem after watching a jay at our feeder in Ann Arbor and deciding that even though he could take all the peanuts he wanted – based on his size relative to the other birds – he preferred to steal the peanuts and then celebrate his cleverness. My brother says the sound of blue jays is the sound of Michigan.

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Joseph Neely, all rights reserved

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