The Basket Weaver

All winter long
this sparrow sat outside my easel window.
She would take breaks from eating at the communal feeders,
which are strategically placed in the studio yard
so I can watch the comings and goings.
For most of the winter there was enough snow
to give her a soft fluffy resting place on the flat surface
behind the hemlock bushes
when the Junkos and Blue Jays elbowed her out
of the feeding frenzy.
As I gathered the basket
and the tea towels
and the teacup for this painting
I could see out of the corner of my eye
that she was becoming somewhat restless.
A tiny tap tap tap
was heard behind me at the window
and I turned to see her holding a small piece of wicker
slightly askance in her beak
and rapping it gingerly on the pane.
I’ve long ago learned
that when the muses tap
you must listen
so I opened up the window and took the proffered twig
and set about reworking the composition.
She wouldn’t like me telling you
but I chose to shave off a fair amount of her “winter’s heft”
as I knew you would all be critical of the proportions…
but then it might do well for us all to forgive
a little plumpness in our muses.