(After Reading The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman)

Scientists wonder 
why birds carol
at dawn.

Does the pause
of human hum–

snarl of chainsaw
rumble of tractors
screech of brakes
purr of the fine-tuned SUVs
that prowl this manmade

make them brave?

Scientists guess
that birds in my yard
chirp a dialect
for native dangers—

peregrine falcon in the oak
feral cat slinking through honeysuckle
red-tailed hawk in the pine
barred owl boasting

Who cooks for you?
Who cooks for you-all?

Mated pairs call and respond, 
trill measures so tight,
they leave no rests for breath
or interlopers’ grace notes.

Predawn, as light breaks,
maybe it just feels good
to leave your nest
for solo space, that place
to stretch your wings
and sing your wide-eyed