Finch In The Driveway

photograph by Brian Willson
text and haiku by Kristen Lindquist

On the way to the local market I pass a slightly run-down house. There’s often a big dog chained outside; its droppings litter the lawn. The siding, which was not a pretty color to begin with, is worn and faded. Porch railings need mending, and random pieces of plywood and toys lie about the yard. The house wears a casual, unkempt air–thoroughly lived-in but perhaps not especially cared for. It reminds me a little of some places we lived when I was a child, a home typical of those who are paying more attention to getting by than keeping their yard picked up or painting trim.

I was walking by this house, looking straight ahead up the street, when a small, quick movement caught my eye. I looked over, half-expecting to see a piece of wind-blown trash skitter across the short driveway. But instead, a little house finch pecked amid the gravel, a male bird with brown streaks and a bright raspberry-colored head. I don’t know what he was after down there, but for a few moments, he added an understated note of true beauty to that bleak yard.

I hope someone there
noticed the pink-headed finch
gracing their driveway.