Christmas Scenes


The pine tree in our front yard
is gaily decorated with
suet cakes, sunflower blossoms,
sunflower seed blocks, seed feeders,
thistle seed socks, and ears of corn.
Spread in a wide swath around it
is more seed in generous amounts
for the ground-feeding birds.

The tree is alive with birds,
as is the ground beneath it.
They number far too many to count.
Perhaps because of the abundance
of food sources, there’re no squabbles;
or perhaps it’s a Christmas truce.
The food should last out the day;
tomorrow morning will need a refill.

In our backyard, all autumn long,
various animals have been feasting
on the wind-fallen fruit beneath
our quartet of “dwarf” apple trees
Even three deer (does) have visited.
For a while, there were only two,
but yesterday we saw three again.
Today, fresh apples await them.

In the living room, the fir tree
blinks with lights and reflections
from shiny ornaments and tinsel.
Three of the lowest branches
are close enough to make a cat bed,
and there is always a cat there;
except, of course, at feeding time
(which is more important than a nap).

For my wife and I, our Christmas blessing
is the privilege to be able to watch.


  1. Hi Michael

    I love this! My former home in N.Y. State had a yard with apple and fir trees. In late Autumn and early Winter, the birds would feed off stray pine seeds and the bread crumbs we scattered for their consumption. Some fallen apples that lingered for deer to feast on. From the bay window of our living room, I watched this natural scene of hunger sated and the stillness afterward that evoked a sense of peace. Your beautiful images bring back those memories and the last strophe is perfect. Indeed, the privilege of being able to observe this activity is blessed and cherished. The voice and language in this piece are eloquent and so relatable that makes it a joy to read.

    My best

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Wendy. Most of this is fact, interwoven with just enough fiction to make a smooth narrative. We have had birds flock to our feeders in such abundance that they really did empty them in a single day. I put down some for the ground feeders as well. We have also frequently had deer in our backyard, though rarely more than one or two at a time. Finally, the one year we had a real tree in our living room, there was nearly always a cat somewhere in the branches. It all makes for fond memories.


  3. Thank you Sarah. As I commented elsewhere, I find it easier to write about Christmas than any other time of year. Perhaps that’s because I do have so many good memories of Christmas.


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