Egg in a bird's nest.

Before you were dead you fell in love with a house wren.
You, and she, hobnobbing on the front porch,
your workbench in the corner, her nest wedged
above, where two beams met. She flitted in and out
through a space where wind dislodged the screen.

Sometimes I was jealous watching the two of you,
all purpose and focus—you building duck planters,
she, preparing for babies. While I, inside, lined up pills,
doing what I could to keep you alive, my purpose
in the weeks of summer.

One day I watched as she flew at you—you, oblivious,
keen to your task, running fir under the blade,
its wild screech rising. Her babies had hatched,
wobbly along the nest’s perimeter, learning to fly.
Again she flew at you, and I knew whose side I was on.

I tapped your shoulder, and you removed your ear plugs,
reluctant at first to believe me.
The art of flying takes time and courage.
She’s mad at you, can’t you see? That loud saw,
whining on endlessly, leave her be.

And you did, and the babies flew off, and she did too.
You missed her then, there at your saw,
wishing you could have kept her beside you,
wedged high in the corner,
chirping love and togetherness.

Photo by furtwangl, used and adapted under CC.