The hummingbird refuels 

in mid-air from the hub 

of a fuchsia flower. 

Its belly is feathered white 

as rapids; its eye 

is smaller than a drop of tar. 

A bodied moth, it beats 

stopwatches into lethargy 

with its wing strokes. 

Food it needs every fifteen 

minutes. It has the metabolism 

of a steam engine. 

Its tiny claws are slight 

as pared fingernail; 

you could slip it with ease 

into a breast pocket. 

There it might lie, cowed 

– or give you a second heart. 

from Academe (Seren 1988), © Paul Groves 1988, used by permission of the author

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