Gift of a Sparrow’s Nest

It’s like a present found under the tree

when everyone’s sound asleep

on Christmas Eve, and the

thrill of trespassing.


The rustic wrapping is full of hope,

a family’s intimate history written

in twisted straw and cursive grass

and sometimes fine sepia print.


There’s the urgency of architecture:

this twig here, then this one

crossed with that one

just so, and a piece of dried leaf,


the inside saved for certain grass

as fine as human hair, neat and

sculpted as the mother’s breast,

and at the center: her luminous eggs.


Here is the brief imprint of life.

The wonder of a mother bird’s

skills, all the timing just right,

her chicks’ complete belief


that their grim orange beaks

would be filled and they

would persist as surely

as mornings in May.




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