Don’t need a song, the overheard
will do. Rusty gate, teakettle,
alley cat, tree frog, tufted titmouse,
the blue jay’s jeer and pump handle —
all part of the mocker’s repertoire.
One in Massachusetts was said to sound
like three dozen other birds
besides himself. Yet so territorial
they will attack their own image
in a window pane or a hubcap.
A pair have nested in the holly tree,
three eggs, chicks now, three
grotesque yellow mouths
widening as their mother arrives,
a grasshopper dangling green from her bill.
All fuzz and beak, the little ones
haven’t learned to mimic the rest
of the world, or even listen.
They push out their unfledged
thin insistent artless peeps
all in a row, the pitch so perfect
you wish for a little street talk.