tennessee warbler

260 total words    

1 minutes of reading

songbird   you leave the nest at eleven days

that’s how things always begin here

every life   so precious   so close to

peril    fallen bird   wet in the grass

has the evening come too soon   too cold

a prayer is what i am offering you   that and this

not so new shirt i will use to cover you   dry you

in these last and fast falling minutes of day

every thing i know about being a mother is here now

my prayer is that your mother does not stray

i am well versed in her work    my yard   her nest

what i do for my own daughter   call it matriarchal

call it independence   call it nature  call it mothering

so i bring you this old shirt   one i may have 

used but never needed like now   wrap you

watch your sibling    there at the edge 

of the lawn   testing his wings   the mother bird

is not in joyful throat of morning    no singing

she chitters from bush to bush   my flowers

bloom yellow as her breast

i built this alone   i carry the weight of

my life    completely mine   this

is what prayer is    little bird    flightless

in my hands offered back to its mother   here

i say    i know    i know   it’s a whisper

but empathy is my gift   call it that

i understand what it is to worry   this

need to protect   i give her back to you mother songbird

this baby bird on the cusp of flight   laying here

in a shirt for a nest   leave you to your mother

the dusk to a prayer that despair not win   not now

not today   the evening is too calm for loss    so

may us mothers lend each other    for now

and by example this grace

  • Aaron Abeyta

    Aaron A. Abeyta is a Colorado native and professor of English at Adams State University and the Mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown. He is the author of four collections of poetry and one novel. He lives in Antonito, Colorado where he can remain close to his family and culture, both of which greatly influence his work.

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