To the Two Juncos Who Visited Our Bird Feeder One Morning During a Pandemic

I hope this message finds you well.

How did you find out we got more bird seed in the mail? One of your friends tweet about it?
Bad joke. Is that offensive?
One of those things that you can say it and I shouldn’t?
I’m so sorry. Won’t happen again.

I hope you didn’t mind that I watched you eat your breakfast through the blinds of our living room.
The sun had just come up, and I couldn’t look away.
Seeing you perched on the feeder’s tray, casual chirps between bites of seed,
reminded me of walking by a coffeeshop in the city and seeing family for brunch—
things I sorely miss.

See, you may have noticed, we humans are supposed to stay inside.
I haven’t really been able to leave this apartment in over a month.
You know, you should be grateful for the fact that you can fly anywhere you like—
especially now, since you don’t have to deal with as many people bothering you at the park.
You don’t need to be tethered to any specific place if you don’t want to.

If you don’t mind me asking, why are your eyes so dark?
Are you struggling to sleep too?
Have you been feeling more panicky?
I’m sorry if you are; I feel threatened by everything lately— I keep yearning to dart away, my head constantly scanning for exit strategies.

I’m also sorry that your breakfast date got cut short by the arrival of Stellar’s Jay, who was so heavy that the feeder swayed in the morning sun for a solid minute after you left, spilling seeds everywhere.
While they were able to stroll across the porch floor eating the scattered seeds, you had to fly out of sight.

I hope you found a nice place to rest.

You are welcome to return any time you like.
We’ll make sure the feeder stays full for you.
Or, if not, that some seeds remain strewn over the porch.

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