Leeya Mehta – David and the Hummingbird

The Stare's Nest

David and the Hummingbird
For Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Joyce tells a story of the day
the bird flew into the shed
and would not leave;
it beat its wings until it fell
exhausted to the floor.

But it didn’t end like that,
nor was this the beginning—

The morning of the Kill,
the hummingbird flew through the open door
and circled round and round the blood
“It was not interested to feed,” she said,
but just to see and understand.

It went up into the rafters,
and then down again
towards the cement floor.
Its blues and greens dancing in
the light and dark;
the corners hiding it and then
like magic, letting it be seen.

David tried to make it leave;
first, sugar feeders lured it outside;
then, when it was noon, the
darkest noon they’d ever seen,
the thunder began.
He set the sugar water inside the garage…

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