Food for Orioles

By Gunnar Lundberg

There’s a tabernacle in the back of our cabin’s fridge. The holy communion of bird feed: a jar of Smucker’s grape jelly and bag of oranges. I remember reaching for the jelly once, setting it out on the counter to make a PB & J. My mom stopped me, scolding, “You know that jelly’s for the Orioles!” And she was right, I did know. That jelly and those oranges were for the feeder that hung in the white pine, with its wooden pegs and little glass dishes. I helped her stock it regularly, halving the oranges and spooning the sticky, purple jelly into the dishes. The reward was watching those tangerine wings, echoes of sunlight, color our gaze. I returned the jelly to the back of the fridge, settling for a PB & honey sandwich instead. I recognize the same tabernacle in others’ fridges too, and always smile– food for the Orioles.

Gunnar Lundberg is a graduate student in Modern Literature at the University of Glasgow. He enjoys Ina Garten memes, hiking, and reading poetry by the campfire. He has previously been published in Ayaskala, Global Hobo, Sledgehammer and Xene. Follow him on twitter @gunnarupnorth