Youth and Birds

I read that after they hatch, all
nestlings learn to make begging

songs. Before they fledge,
will they learn to neatly tuck
the sheets around their beds

hospital style, to sop every last
bit of milk from the cereal bowl

with a piece of bread, then clean
and rinse it under the tap?
From sunup to dusk, from high

on the tree or low on the ground
and any nearby perch, their hubbub

fills the warm mornings. I listen
but also keep back some: I’ve learned
how when you’re young you’ll want

someone’s opinion, then go with whatever’s
the opposite of what they’ve recommended.

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