Two robins visited me this morning.

They remind me of proud-belly men, their bulging bellies—a sign of wealth and status—stretching the buttons of a red vest under a dark suit.

Yesterday, I wondered when the robins would return. This morning they filled the fields.

This is robin flocking season. They move in community from field to field for the best fruits and worms. In spring, they’ll return in pairs, competing for mates, territory, and berries. But November is about their community.

Except, these two robins in my yard. They are not in the field foraging with the flock. Side by side, not far from the gazebo and unbothered by my movements, they are disinclined to fly over the fence and into the north field with their red-vested flock mates.

Are they a couple? Are they reviewing the season just passed? Was the partnership good? Are the fledglings well? Shall we make a promise to each other to do it again come March?

Plump with abundance of their planet, perhaps the pair is evaluating this place. Could we just stay here, ditch the trip south? We don’t have to move to winter over. We don’t have to move to start again in spring.   

Maybe they are fledglings, watching their parents and relatives flock in the fields, judging them, questioning their traditions, migrations, and fields of choice. They’re so old fashioned. We could do it better. 

The proud bellies linger in my yard, from time to time peering through the fence where robin heads bob up then disappear. I wonder if they will join the others when they lift like a whipped table cloth into the sky. Or will they stay here?

I’ll never know, but I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving visit from my proud-bellied red-vested neighbors.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.