Clark’s nutcracker – a poem by Amelia Díaz Ettinger

Clark’s nutcracker

Nucífraga columbiána


After the breeding season 
we often find odd mates
like this Clark’s nutcracker and a Sterling jay

sharing a morsel of bagels 
in the parking lot of Anthony Lakes
they don’t fight, they simply share

while a few children, without masks,
ride the see-saw built to make bikers out of them
their father watches with arms ready to catch

across from the birds another family unloads their toys
and the birds lift and flutter away simultaneous
watching intently with identical expressions

they must be famished—with their young gone 
time to fatten for the winter that is yet to come
—a child drops a bag of chips, the birds

dive together to catch the booty— again, they stay close
it’s the end of a summer hotter than usual with fire smoke
and exhaustion from isolation—but today the cerulean sky

has brought them out, the sun shines without a curtain
scavenging together makes me wonder if Darwin
had it wrong, here I see a simple joy

—the Clark’s beak tenderly picks
at a chip on the Steller’s and both crackle 
in a chaunt not far from laughter

Amelia Díaz Ettinger is a ‘Mexi-Rican,’ born in México but raised in Puerto Rico. As a BIPOC poet and writer, she has two full-length poetry books published; Learning to Love a Western Sky by Airlie Press, and a bilingual poetry book, Speaking at a Time /Hablando a  la Vez by Redbat Press, and a poetry chapbook, Fossils in a Red Flag by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies.

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