Almost always my first words upon waking.
She told me that there was a bird knocking at our door. No I said, there is no bird knocking at our door, probably a woodpecker knocking on our house, go back to sleep--look it's early.
She kept at me. I begged her not to. I scored a rare win. I got to sleep.
A couple of days later after I'd dropped her at school at the ungodly hour of 7:30, I was home tapping a vein in my arm for some coffee, when I heard the knocking. Tap tap tap. TAP TAP TAP! I looked at the front door, and I saw her in the long window that runs along side our door. Knock knock knocking away on the glass, for what must have been a good reason, though I couldn't imagine what it was.
No woodpecker. A robin. Out of place in December, lows had hit 20, aren't they supposed to go someplace warm?
I walked to the window and moved the curtain. She was in mid peck/knock. I thought immediately of Shelley. How I wish she could have captured the moment. It looked like a real-life version of a Shelley Powers photograph.
Once the knocking robin saw me, she scurried up into the tree. She seemed to be waiting. But for what? I opened the door. She sat on the branch. I looked at her. She seemed puzzled.
Then she darted off to the house across the street and started knocking on their front window.
And I understood. She was saying this:
"Look people, it's fucking COLD out here--huh?! Could you help a bird out? Can't you see I decided to hang here for the winter? I didn't know the ground would freeze--I can't get to a single solitary worm, so toss some bread my way. How bout it?"
So I did what anyone would do if a robin were knocking. I got some bread, shredded it, and tossed it in the front yard. I didn't wait to see if she'd hop over to our side of the street and eat it. After all, it was fucking COLD out!
The next day, and about every three days ever since, the knocking robin comes by. I forget about her in between, but when I hear the morning window peck, I get some bread and toss it out on the front lawn.
I wonder how many of my neighbors are doing the same.
And I wonder when word will get around to other birds, maybe on your street.