In Uruguay, in spring, I’ve often heard
light-hearted trills along the dusty road:
a lively, undiminished ovenbird
sings as she builds her intricate abode.
The wily swallow, with no stringent code
of constancy, surveys the chambered nest;
and knows that, following this episode
of eggs with which the other bird is blessed,
he’ll snatch the abdicated space. Hard-pressed
though he may be for time, for love, for will,
too wise to prove an uninvited guest,
he waits it out upon a window-sill.
The ovenbird, deemed artless by the swallow,
to practiced eyes is one tough act to follow.
— Catherine Chandler