The Chickadee’s Song

By Matt McGuirk

 A walk in the woods is gentle; everything showered in dew and hues of green picked out of leaves and grass by morning’s first laces of light threaded through branches. Silent except quiet footsteps across uneven soil and I pull my sweatshirt tighter to keep out the cool air.

A low grumble not far off is something misplaced. Grumble isn’t quite right though, maybe more like a sputter or the choke of engines starting. I looked around knowing the forest had fled here already, but how far had they come?

Just grass and trees in the woods this morning, no bulldozers or dump trucks, chainsaws or excavators. My mind eased, but I heard the sound again and saw, perched along the branch of an aged and wrinkling maple, a chickadee. But it no longer knew that name or the song that went with it. 

Matt McGuirk teaches and laughs at his puns by day and scribbles somewhat coherent words nightly. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. BOTN 2021 nominee with words in Bear Creek Gazette, Daily Drunk Magazine, Maudlin House, Purple Wall Stories, Sledgehammer Lit, Versification and othersTwitter: @McguirkMatthew Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew.