A Fallen Bird's Nest

This bowl must have been hanging in its tree

above the cars and parking meters, above men

Advertisement

wrapped like pods and sleeping in doorways,

above the coffee cup lids, newsprint cubism, and

the quintillion cigarette remnants of sidewalk still life.

And now it’s underfoot, a sudden flash on wet pavement,

its woven twig wreath exploded out, but

still holding its circle, like some ring nebula

in a false-color photo of the stars.

This is not the universe as it is.

So here’s an ignorance corrected into a kind of grief.

Its curve has spread, its center has opened

to cradle nothing, but two (or is it three?) ivory shells,

now shattered in the way all ruin is final and uncertain,

the yolks a perverse sun painted on the rained-on street.

And these men whose faces I never see sleep on as I pass,

and dream in ways the rest of us do,

of colors we forget could be the sun,

of the place beyond maps and cities, invisible lines,

where birds still follow their ancient path.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Bruce Snowden
5 years 9 months ago
"A Fallen Bird's Nest" by Jim Nowroki is heart-tugging, true to life, and poignantly beautiful. A fallen bird's nest with nurtured eggs, gifts from God, now spilled on sidewalk where people walk and spit mostly unmidful of shattered hope in broken eggs and shattered home - that nest torn apart like so many a human nest in "Sandy" - and that Mother Bird, what is she to do now? Weep and wonder! Once on a rainswept NYC sidewalk I saw a newly hatched baby bird, tranquil in death, its body like a human fetus tossed as garbage, but a little feathered with promise that would never be. It's wings limp, its tiny feet curled in a lifeless bend, its body pinkish blue. I moved it to a place where hurrying feet would not crush it and where it could quietly return to the soil where earth worms it would never seek clapped vtheir hands happily, but with some sadness realizing that someday they may find a similar end, or perhaps more graciously as food for some hungry fish! Fallen bird's nest, tiny broken eggs, fallen baby bird, one consolation in the words of Jesus, "Not even one Sparrow falls with your heavenly Father knowing it." All creatures big and small and their homes, praise the Lord!
Jim Nawrocki
5 years 8 months ago
Bruce, thank you for your kind words and your thoughtful reading of my poem. I'm very glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your taking the time to share some of your thoughts.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Women served as deacons in Europe for about a millennium in a variety of ministerial and sacramental roles.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 15, 2019
In preparation for the gathering in Abu Dhabi, I find myself asking why my conversations with the future Pope Francis so powerfully affected both of us.
Abraham SkorkaJanuary 15, 2019
Photo: iStock
Included on the list is John T. Ryan, S.J., who from 1989 to 1994 was an associate editor for development at America.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 15, 2019
Did you ever wonder why Jesus was baptized? What sins did Jesus have to repent of? Nothing.
James Martin, S.J.January 14, 2019