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The Pandemic Is for the Birds

May 2020
Barbara Leeds

A condo complex in Mountain View
My home since 1999
Parking lot more full than usual
Most residents home every day
Telecommuting or laid off
Yet I hardly see them
The new arrivals
The ducks
Waddle around
Like they own the place

Stevens Creek
Just the other side of Highway 85
A magnet for cigarette butts and beer bottles
An occasional bicycle, scooter, or shopping cart
A sprinkling of face masks—civilization’s latest discard
And standing above it all
A great blue heron

Palo Alto Baylands
Five miles away
A flock of white birds turns in unison
Now they’re gray
Now they’re gone
Seconds later they reappear in the same place
White again
Now they’re gray
Now they’re gone
Now they’re back
I’m mesmerized

Copyright 2020 Barbara Leeds