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His Hummingbirds (Calypte anna

Tiny fencemen perched upon pickets
At rest, armed, armored, readied, coated
In colors of the realm
Vert, sanguine, argent
Their ladies, less elaborately clad than they
Hovering nearby, favoring their fellows
With discreet flashes
Of corresponding color

The prize has arrived
Sky-mounted goblet
Of immortal nectar
Awaits he who proves worthy

The slightest of salutes
And then . . .
En garde!

Feint, feint, feint
Expressionless ebony eyelets revealing naught
Beat, beat, beat
Gorgets furiously flashing
Lunge, thrust, parry

Superior wingwork won the day


My four-month-old perches upon me transfixed
Watching his hummingbirds dart before him
Eyes matching them beat-by-beat
Until his mates hum away
He turns to me and our smiles meet
Already knowing the answer, I ask
"Hungry, Bub?"
As our lady summons us from our nest nearby

The Commanders

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