every day just before light

every day
just before light
Hope lands on my windowsill
her claws echoing on the lead

she – I think of her as she –
sidles up and down
staring at me or her reflection
until
with the light
I get out of bed
and move to the kitchen

she is usually there before me
her tapping accelerated
but somehow still controlled
like those times in a jazz club
when you air drum along
or get to the bar while it’s quiet

she moves swiftly away
when I open the window
then dove steps back
and explosively pecks
at the seeds I have scattered there

I don’t see her for the rest of the day
only in the morning
when I wait for her
every day
just before light

two weeks ago last Friday
she arrived with a friend
or a partner or mate
or an opportunistic passer-by
they seemed to share the food
quite fairly
and then they left together

the rest of the day
I sat in my chair
thinking of how our relationship
might develop
and underlining birdseed on my list

I did not see them again
until this morning
and then not her
but only her friend
who clattered on the sill
alone and ignoring
the seed piled up like sand dunes

I don’t know if she’ll stay
or if she’ll come back
every day
just before light

I think I’ll call her Hope