Salvaged nesting box
Held together with plastic, rope-lashed to birch.
Red in talon and beak
Magpie or crow stormed it,
Leaving it gaping, north exposed,
Until compassion compelled.
Virtue is its own reward:
For hours I have watched day by day
The comings and goings of the wedded pair,
Dynamos, obedient to blind urge,
Grub gatherers from the wild cherry a stone’s fling away.
In relays they come, timing impeccable,
Briefly alight to set a lifeless branch atremble,
Just for a steadying second,
target through the barely adequate hole.
The miracle is in the constancy, the urgency,
The selfless spark held in the gram of flesh.
Daily we celebrate the puny joys we contrive
As though the onward sweep of our reckless striving
Must usher in Nirvana,
Nano-this, micro-that: never fulfilling,
Piling high trash, generation on generation,
To stay the mirage, ever shifting.
But in this May miracle, this untiring feathered flash
Within that tiny, downy, bright-eyed, sharp-billed head
Resides the elemental grains
Of God’s creative art,
The quintessence of the eternal will,
Signature of His eternal delight.