Guardian Angels

This afternoon, sitting at my kitchen table,
penning a poem pondering about the existence
of guardian angels, my attention suddenly focuses
outside the window upon a hummingbird able

to hang suspended a few feet away, a living jewel
resplendent with shimmering, iridescent green back
and ruby throat, looking at me looking at him.
As he darts skyward, two squirrels cavorting in a duel

over the back fence feeder capture my interest now.
Off the feeder, on the ground, around and around
the trunk, then up the tree out of sight - such
agile, acrobatic, energetic clowns, always fun somehow.

A fluttering, erratic flight lands a bird out in the middle
of the yard - a fledgling blue jay, eager to test his wings,
gain his independence out in the cruel world outside the
nest, newly dressed in adult plumage, appearing quite a little

ungainly. His parents hover nearby, calling encouragement,
hoping he will fly right. Movement at the far right corner
catches the parents’ eyes. Immediately they begin diving at,
chattering to the neighbor’s cat, who is stalking, clearly bent

on attacking the adolescent jay. Ignoring the increasingly frantic
attempts at diverting his intent, the cat continues his slow, low
crawl toward his prey. I run into the yard, sending the cat
scrambling over the fence one way, the jay wobbly, in a panic,

flying the other way. “Bird, you’ve just been saved courtesy of a fat,
bald, old man! I may not look to you like your guardian angel, but
then, who knows when and how a guardian angel touches our life?
Today I was yours. One day you might be mine. Life is like that!”

Harry Edward Gilleland      08.24.02