Nesting

The finches are courting
outside our window, a warbled
discussion of real estate and love.
Like last year and the year before,
they want to lease the flower wreath
on our front door. It’s always a dilemma:
discourage their rapture or detour
through the garage?

The finches always win. So
for a month we’ll wake to overtures
at dawn – so cheerful, so loud –
show pictures of pin-feathered babies
to friends, recall demands
and pleasures of our own brood,
the bittersweet fledging.

– Sarah Russell
First published by Your Daily Poem
The photo is of their nest last year.

Thought this was apropos since Mr. and Mrs. Finch are back and are quite excited about our new wreath this year.  They were both tucked into a niche behind the blossoms, discussing the furnishings when I opened the door this morning.  The nest was almost complete this afternoon.  Can’t deny true love.

Family Photo, 1899

To end April’s National Poetry Month, here’s a wonderful portrait written by award winning poet Joan Colby.  Joan’s latest poetry collection is The Seven Heavenly Virtues.  Learn more about Joan and her poetry here.

Five daughters, every one with hair
To her hips. Cumbersome dresses
Meant for Sundays. No one is smiling.
The mother’s hair skinned into a thick bun.
The smallest child on her lap. The father
Gallant with sideburns, chin whiskers,
A wave over one eye. Cravat and
Polished boots. That they lived, all of them,
In a one-room log cabin in the Uinta Mountains
Is not apparent, dressed in their finest, hair
Freshly washed and brushed so that
Every girl could be Rapunzel.
Two infant sons already buried.
The father will die by gunfire
At the age of 40. The mother will be nursing
Her last child: my father
Who will be photographed later
In a white lace baptismal gown.

– Joan Colby
First published in Poppy Road Review

P.S. New prompts are up on the Prompts page.

He Is Six and She Is Three

Danny Earl Simmons provides a devastating child’s perspective on family in this poem.  I follow Dan’s blog so I don’t miss any of his poems when they are published.  (I’m a fan!)  His new chapbook is The Allness of Everything.  You can learn more about him and his poetry here.

He is six and she is three
when they’re sent to spend what’s left
of their innocence with their aunt,
the older sister of their now-dead mother –

beaten to death with the fists
of their now-imprisoned father
who loved them both with a rage

so red his bare knuckles bled
into their screaming mother’s face
until there were no screams left

while the six-year-old brother held
his three-year-old sister curled
all the way under the bottom bunk

as she sobbed until there was breath enough
to ask why their mommy just won’t be good
and why isn’t he crying, too.

– Danny Earl Simmons
First published in Eunoia Review