The Brown-headed Cowbird

A female brown-headed cowbird
will lay her eggs in another nest,
hoping they will be taken care of.

Not enough food to go around,
one too many screaming,
screeching heads.
Of young nestling beaks,
still opening wide,
never satisfied.

The mother bluebird hunts twice as much,
twice as hard. She is always tired
when she comes home to her babies,
one of which is different than all the rest.
But even with its black and brown feathers,
she sees the cowbird baby as her own.

She will feed the cowbird,
though it means two of her baby blues
will never fledge.

Though there are no words to say it,
the exhausion in her limbs will scream,
I wish I didn’t love you.

Poetry and photography by Hazel J. Hall.

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