Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: independence

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

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.

Rites of Passage

For Lizzie

Snow fell in gentle waves
caressing the banks of a river,
singing a lullaby in steady whispers
over a harnessing, ancient dam.

Inclement warmth and winter rains
melt the icy duvet that draped the native
mountain laurel surrounding a lake
that knows only one outlet –

This channel that ushers its bursting waters
to an entirely new place
where there is room to spread
their anxious liquid wings:

An ocean, limitless, starting at its delta,
its alpha, autonomy, possibility, under
the warmth of the sun that raises weightless clouds
and will guide our waters home, again.