Finches

for Ethan, Lauren, Maia, Caleb, Sean, Dylan, and Genevieve

image credit: yannajenn (Flickr)

This past spring, we had a nest of finches beneath the eaves over our front porch. There was a single day when the baby birds looked almost exactly like this. The next day the nest was empty. Image credit: yannajenn (Flickr)


Yesterday just gaping jaws,
Cheeping feebly, pink blind heads…
Now tufts sprout over each bright eye,
Fluffed sepia wings overflow the nest.

The ground’s so far, my brave wee birds.
Rock won’t give like down or flesh.
There’s time enough to leap and soar,
Today, stay here and grow and rest.

With dawn you’ll perch and lift your wings.
Stretch muscle, feather, meet the wind.
And swell the song you’re born to sing
And dart and dazzle, earth unpinned.

But dirt’s so hard, my sweet, young birds.
Storm clouds soak the proudest crest.
There’s time enough to leap and soar,
Today, stay here and grow and rest.

Tomorrow, not today, sweet birds.
Tomorrow you can flit so free.
But here and now, enjoy the warmth–
Let your heart beat next to me.

The world is dazzling, fresh and wide,
But also hungry, fierce, and wet.
I know you need to leave, to fly,
But I could teach you so much, yet.

The dew and dapple beckon, yes–
But snow’s no friend, and night’s too long.
And solo ends can cruelly jest,
So I’ll enfold you with my song.

While I have you in the nest,
I’ll love you, swear to soon set free.
Oh, here and now, enjoy the warmth–
Let your heart beat next to me.

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About Daniel Hardman

Software architect and tech blogger: http://codecraft.co ~ Author of fiction, poetry, sci-fi, fantasy: http://sivanea.com ~ Twitter: @dhh1128 ~ http://gplus.to/danielhardman
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2 Responses to Finches

  1. Gloria Pratt says:

    read it on Facebook and now here. It’s even more beautiful the second time around.

  2. That’s kind of you, Gloria! Thanks.

    I had never really pondered the metaphor in the term “empty-nester” until recently. Now I find that it has a lot of rich layers to it, some happy and some sad. Parenthood continues to stretch and surprise me.

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