Eastern Bluebird on House

Love, Birds
by Kim Ports Parsons

Despite their best efforts,
a pair of young bluebirds

aren’t succeeding with their first nest.
They’ve chosen a house my husband built

for others: a kind of lean-to for robins, phoebes,
and song sparrows. Only three sides,

an open floor, a slanting roof, a space exposed,
so each beginning is easily dismissed by wind.

My early love affairs were like that,
but Oh, that swoon of blue—

She gathers dry grasses.
He stands guard on the barbecue.

Hers is a cup of hope, possibility, so fragile.
It never fails to make me smile

when a male cardinal at the feeder
delivers a seed to a female

with what appears to be a kiss.
So I should greet you, each day.

What good does it do to chastise ourselves,
as years pass, for our lack of bright feathers?

Perhaps my memory fails me, but wasn’t it a barred owl
we heard that first weekend we spent making love?

I recall starting a poem, a love note really,
about calling out for my heart’s desire.

Each night, this June, we hear the whippoorwill,
insistent, tireless, randy. Sometimes he is so loud

we have to close the windows to sleep.
When we wake, I curve my body

in gratitude, and feather my fingers through yours.
I suggest that perhaps you could attach

a small addition to the platform, like an arm
to hold the nest. It would be easy to cut

a piece of scrap and tack it on. Sure, you say,
and go out to your wood shop, and get to work.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 4.

Kim Ports ParsonsKim Ports Parsons is returning to poetry after more than two decades. Her work appears in such journals as Prairie Schooner and Baltimore Review and is forthcoming in Blue Nib. She taught writing for years and worked in libraries. Now, she grows flowers and vegetables at the foot of the Shenandoahs.

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