For my finch followers: returning thanks

Dear Delivery People:

Thank you
for respecting
my taped-up signs
that say stay away 
from the front porch
it’s a bird sanctuary again
the house finches nested early
on the door wreath I left for them
Mama laid four tiny eggs in blue cold
mohawked nestlings hatched in a snowfall
by mid-March I thought the fledglings
had all flown, for there was no more
happy chatter-song at the door 
and when I checked I found
two perfectly beautiful
fledglings dead
in the nest


I placed them together 
in a deep pile of dry leaves 
at wood’s edge because birds
do not bury their dead
they are creatures
of the air

I tore down
the death-nest
and my taped-up signs

and read online
that birds grieve
the death of
their young

the next day
blades of green grass
appeared on the wreath
where the nest had been

the day after that, more
grass and flowered strands

scientists say that only
the mother finch builds
the nest but I am here
to tell you that the father
worked just as hard

in tandem they flew
with string and fluff
in their beaks
chattering their
architectural plans

in five days,
what was lost

and now
in the most
exquisitely-lined nest
I’ve ever seen

there are new blue eggs


so thank you,
Delivery People
for reading my
freshly-taped signs

is a sacred
little space
where miracles
of nature
take place

with thanks to b.c. randall for today’s VerseLove invitation on Ethical ELA:

“Write today’s  poem for someone else: the boy who bags your groceries, the neighbor who walks by your front window every day, that colleague or friend who has been on your mind. Craft the poem  to be left for another to unwrap (a gift that we all need).”

2 thoughts on “For my finch followers: returning thanks

  1. Oh Fran, I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved finch fledglings. That is so sad. Perhaps, it was too cold for them to survive. I am happy for you that you were able to observe Mr. and Mrs. House Finch making a new nest and that Mama laid two new eggs! Such awesome news! I am saying prayers for the finch family to keep their nestlings safe.

    I love all the imagery in your poem. I feel like I was right there with you. I love your whole poem, especially this stanza:
    “in tandem they flew
    with string and fluff
    in their beaks
    chattering their
    architectural plans” where you show the parents moving on from their loss and preparing for their new fledglings.

    I also especially love how you ended your poem with this stanza:
    is a sacred
    little space
    where miracles
    of nature
    take place” because I agree that your wreath is sacred and newborns in any species are miracles. Thank you for sharing your pain, joy, and inspiration.

    PS As I have been writing Mr. Cardinal serenaded me, and two chickadees flited around a cedar tree outside the window, which kept my cat, Tigress entertained. She makes meerkat chirps at birds. I always tell her, “Don’t get any ideas all birds, butterflies, and bees are mine.” Happy spring and Easter. Have a great Easter with your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gail, thank you for your kind heart and tender words, always so meaningful. Loved hearing of the birds over there in your neck of the woods (we have a stunning cardinal out back) and I am chuckling at the way you tell Tigress the birds are yours. I feel like the finches especially are mine, or maybe I am theirs…we have three new eggs in the nest now, maybe more; I am trying to be as unobtrusive and respectful as possible. Stay tuned for nestlings in about another week, though! Happy Easter to you and all yours also.


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