Nests by Michael G. Smith


Three green plastic baskets,
the kind stuffed with strawberries and
covering tables at farmer’s markets,
hang from a ponderosa’s head-high boughs,
their bottoms lined with
randomly shaped strips of
violet cloth and
wads of surgical cotton.

I think children had faith
searching birds would
ferret out their location like
the robins that found a vee in
my backyard poplar before
knitting a cradle of twigs and
suspect materials indiscernible
from my perch on the ground,
or the hummingbird that wove
her nursery from
amber twine, cinnamon grass, black
thread, mint-green dental floss,
white tufts of rabbit fur, blue sponge and
red felt. A wild wind drove
it down from the yellowing maple
shedding on the driveway before my
cupped hands carried it to a bookcase shelf,
the shards of white shell surviving
the journey wedged between the fibers of
the apricot-size hollow.

Keen to fragilities,
like those of the surprise egg laid by
a friend’s conure at the bottom of
a cage of steel,
and children’s dreams,
I place a sparrow’s discarded feather in
each of the swaying baskets and
walk away.




Nests found by the poet recently on Santa Fe’s South Side.

The poem first appeared in NIMROD.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

4 thoughts on “Nests by Michael G. Smith

  1. Dear Michael,

    Good use of imagery to share this thought provoking message. Congratulations on your publication at Miriam’s beautiful online journal. Wishing you continued success with your writing.


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