about nests

New plateaus. What will they do with each of us when we arrive? How long can we stay? This weekend: My daughter graduates magna cum laude, the last of two from the nest. I’ll be back next week with wild asparagus stories; yellow and red striped bumblebees; learning that crows are the watch guard for the void. As in–the place where things are born. As in: begin. As in: over. Again and again.

About Nests and Springs in Montana
My daughter mentors young school kids. She’s 18,
eating chocolate cream pie for breakfast, but I’m a mom
braced for empty-nest pain, racing through

my late-for-work routine, Yesterday I was with the kindergarteners.
setting out water for the dogs, coaxing the toilet to stop,
checking my emails. Now that we have internet, no one

ever calls. And there was a little boy in the back of the class.
There’s a photo of my mom shoveling 14 inches of spring
snow, wearing her grandson’s fur-lined bomber hat. So I helped

him with his Disney poetry. My dad is proud of her. A quick note
from my sister. Sunday frostbite. Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse.
Monday sunburn. Two bum lambs in her warm kitchen, forty four

in three sheds. You are number one. I find lunch money, turn
the furnace off. His teacher thanked me later for sitting with him.
No one ever has.
We run outside to start our trucks, something sparkles

on our lawn. We’re going to be late, aren’t we, Mom. I nod my head,
we hold hands and watch. A crow is plucking Christmas
tinsel from the grass in our front yard.


First published in Albatross four years ago.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

8 responses to “about nests

  1. kmerrifi

    Congrats to your daughter, Sherry! And to you, proud mama of a summa! I can’t wait to read about crows as the watch guard for the void! Celebrate!.

  2. Suburban Soliloquist

    Empty nest and all, still lots to be grateful for here. She’s off with a terrific start, isn’t she?

    I loved all the entanglements in this poem, Sherry. Just a like the big, hardy crow’s nest–built from sticks and scrub and bark, and all the things necessary to keep the little ones warm and safe. The fragmented thoughts, the enjambments, it’s how we think!

    Last year, when my son graduated from middle school, I wrote an “On Becoming a Freshman” poem–was feeling a little melancholy then, but excited, too. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel when he’s off to college (the first of the two) in three years. I imagine it will be time for another poem. 😉

    • redmitten

      jayne, would enjoy reading your poem. so many poem moments in our lives, huh! the brinks- the freshman brink was the best one, i think. so much promise and innocence and enthusiasm. oh, and vulnerability! so many things, little things, combine without plan, to contribute to the nests of our children. it isn’t just us. so good to hear from you.

  3. wuffda

    Don’t we all like shiny things?

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