Bird Paranoia
by John Hildebidle

    I suppose they have to, small as they are.
    But maybe it's delighted curiosity
    that keeps them watching up, night after night,
    through the least lighted crack between drapes.
    I can't kick the sheets aside, on a hot night,
    without thinking some pervert bluejay is gawking.
    And that pigeon who favors the windowsill --
    what exactly does he have in mind?
    Voyeur sparrows, peeping finches, crows
    (surreptitiously quiet) come closer, closer,
    well within focus-length. I suppose
    there's no need for worry, though --
    how can they spill the beans? But what if
    (what when) some damned scientist learns
    at long last to decipher birdsong.
    Isn't that a knowing smirk
    in the eye of that swooping he-cardinal?
    And how like a snooping reporter
    those jays seem, now that I look more closely.

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