Finding a Nest the Day my Daughter Gets her Driver’s License

by Christine Adams Beckett

The oldest noticed the nest first,
the one who is in love and realizing
what it is to care for another human being,
attached, vulnerable, responsible.

We couldn’t see the eggs, the ball
of twigs and twine out of reach,
but I imagined it was lined in red dog fur
as the ones in my childhood had been.

The youngest noticed the mother a week later,
feeding worms to sparsely-plumed,
enormous beaks, orange and pleading,
perched atop impossibly thin necks.

The middle, sick of clipped wings herself
acknowledged the fledglings with boredom,
asking for six points of identification:
birth, security, education, a passport,

While Robin flew off, inciting a tweeting chorus
of conflict: Stay! But give us the keys.