It is difficult to judge when swallows and martins fledge,
as they will be enticed out of the nest after three weeks by parents
but frequently return afterwards in order to roost. Wikipedia
Swallows drag their beauty above stone
towers, no carnival in them. Unlike the neon
grackle, without the crow’s jubilant caw,
they plunge and swoop, strafe the gutters of men,
shriek about beauty and loss like romantic poets.
So many country birds, so many in the cities,
passerines twittering about constancy, searching
for a lifetime beak. They build mud nest-cups
in the banks and rafters, hunt by fly and grab,
lay pale eggs, set, brood, hatch, the male and female
do this work together, feed their naked chicks,
then cast them from the nest too soon
into the hurdy-gurdy landscape, square and pasture,
prepared to welcome them home again later.
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and works in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Books, 2000) and Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Books, 2008) and three chapbooks. Her most recent publication is Persephone on the Metro, from Mad Hat Press (2014). She has been 10 times nominated for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best of the Web. Some of her publications are linked on-line at wendytaylorcarlisle.com.