Frustrated Flammulated Flycatcher

Written by: Caren Krutsinger

Do not skulk, my mother said, sternly, meanly, and often.
How could I not? I asked myself. We are skulking birds, are we not?
Your bill is too black, my brother cautioned me. Try to tone it down.
Or other flycatchers will not play with you.

Was he insane?
How could I do this?
You need to lighten it, added my haughty, mean, nasty critical sister.

My happiness in youth was hiding away from them, as far down the coast
As I could get, imagining a different life for myself
Where people liked me,
Revered me, 
Appreciated me for who I was.

I could not wait to get a mate
And raise my three flycatchers a different way
Entirely away from my family’s critical ilk.

I wanted to instill confidence and hope in them.
I found the right guy, and raised three flammulated flycatchers of my own
Without their interference, or so I thought….

All they wanted to do was fly back to grandma
And laugh at stories about how awkward I was.