Birds Punctuate the Days

Joyce Clement

apostrophe
the nuthatch inserts itself
between feeder and pole
 

semicolon
two mallards drifting
one dunks for a snail
 

ellipses
a mourning dove
lifts off
 

asterisk
a red-eyed vireo catches
the crane fly midair
 

comma
a down feather
bobs between waves
 

exclamation point
wren on the railing
takes notice
 

colon
mergansers paddle toward
morning trout swirl
 

em dash
at dusk a wild goose
heading east
 

question mark
the length of silence
after a loon’s call
 

period
one blue egg all summer long
now gone