The grey-crowned babblers pry secrets from the trees.
Their scimitar beaks carve grooves in the scaly bark’s
trunk, like finger holes in a wooden instrument. They
tap out a note & listen as white grubs vibrate in their
dark cases. The crescendo is a larva drawn out of its
wings to raucous applause. Nature has thought it best
not to make them empty nesters; keeping the kids close
to home rather than cutting them free, cooperation is
survival’s tenor. Around the Titan shed, the eight birds
play follow the leader, chasing the maggot that squirms
in a parent’s bill. It is a jovial community, one that you
could be lost in; but you dare not look or turn around,
for fear your movement will end it. The chirrups that
crawl up your back & infest your head like happiness.
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