Four baby birds in a nest with their beaks wide open, revealing deep pink throats, as they wait for food.

From sun up to sun dusting
the ridge cinnamon,
this bit of bird dives
for beetles and worms,
takes them in, wretches
into the mouths of her screaming
peeps without a minute
to preen or sing, nothing
but what’s inside her
turned out like the grape-sized
eggs, the calcium and blood
of her, the sunlight turned moss
turned worm turned her of her,
and there’s nothing we can do
to ease her worry of wings,
the shrieking need of fluff
and beaks breaching
the lip of the nest except
cover the kitchen window
with a towel to mask the threat
of us—great apes plodding
stove to sink to table.


Photo by Linda Gail, used and adapted under CC.