Strangers in the Night

August 10, 2013

I have a roommate, a solitary catbird. For two months she has spent the night perched atop the left porch support. At first I thought she had a nest there. But no. Something may have happened to the babies and the male left. There she rests, her grey-white body folded into a round shape conforming to the curvature of the aluminum platform, head facing the door.

If I open the door, she flies off and always skips the next night. If I open the curtain on the door, she stares at me, this sister of the mockingbird. She makes me sad, though I can’t think why. “The catbird seat,” coined by legendary baseball announcer Red Barber, means sitting pretty. But my catbird sister seems lonely. I relate. With all the woods around me, why is she perched there?

Last night I turned off all the lights and watched her in darkness. She didn’t move a muscle in ten minutes.

Always at six in the morning, she is gone. At sundown, I watch for her.


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