Canada Jays

Spit that’s sticky as glue is good for fixing food to trees—
a piece of pilfered meat, three or four baked beans—
to retrieve and eat later, after the winter’s freeze 
sets in. During the day all fall, gray jays cache snacks,
making deposits so that, when the bills are due, checks
can be cashed. For me, the hard part would be to recall
all the places where the thousand-part windfall
is stashed. Like one of these jays, Noah John Rondeau
could pull a jar of flour from a stump, when stuck
in snow miles out from his camp. More than good luck,
this know-how to reckon by inscrutable means
somehow gave him, as it does jays, access to chow
in woods where everything can look the same. An axe,
for Gray Jays, rings like a dinner bell. Not at all highbrow,
these jacks make meals of castile soap and candle wax.

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