THE CROWN OF OUR IMPERFECTIONS (a prose sonnet) T.C. Marshall The ruby crown of a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet suddenly lifts me to see it more closely at the window where he is challenging his reflection for some right to domain. The tiny patch of scarlet feathers on the small olive-green and yellowish bird goes from a "rarely seen" (as it says in the book) little wedge to a flared-up crown or head-dress look over and over as he hops from branch to branch in the camellia and chatters at the sunny glass. I move

to stand just inside and talk to him about his brilliance. He pays me no mind till a dash at the window somehow leaves him satisfied and he is gone.

The camellia will open flowers of that color in a month or so, but I have seen it flashing in action now: up, down, up. It's a ruby jewel above the sharpnesses of those round dark eyes encircled with white and that black beak in a pointed moment of speaking out by emphatically pulling up the precious flare and furrowing the brow down over a look underlined by rapid voicings.

It makes me wonder how "biological" this is. Don't we do pretty much the same in some heated moments? Iwould that we looked so good.