A Pheasant and a Meadowlark

A frosty morning;
a frosty, foggy morning.
Sun comes
and soon the sparkling white
will vanish.
Last week
as I arrived home
I spotted four Pheasant
in the backyard.
They scurried away
when they saw me.
This morning the shy male
and several Meadowlarks
are scratching and pecking the ground
under the pecan tree,
next to the sheet-mulching,
the top layer of which
is a thick bed of wheat straw.
He is beautiful:
the white ring around his neck,
the long pointed tail feathers;
a shining bronze breast.
The Meadowlarks,
with their yellow bellies,
and their sweet, lyrical, soprano voices
are a delight to see in the yard.
I keep out of their sight,
while I watch.
Thirty years ago
flocks of Meadowlarks would come in the yard
where I fed them grain in the winter.
But I haven’t been able to entice them
the last three winters.
I’ve never seen Pheasants this close
to the house
until now.

Eighteen months from now,
when the sheet-mulching has done its magic;
when the Bermuda is gone
and the worms have come
and the soil is fertile,
and it’s time to plant,
I’m going to ring the garden
with the plants that Quail, Pheasant
and Meadowlarks like best.