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Nests and Shells

09.08.13 Posted in today's words by

Cheryl A Van Beek has had poems published in Sandhill Review and Long Story Short Poetry, and forthcoming at Poetry Pacific and Dandelion Farm Review. She is a member of the Saint Leo Writers’ Circle and has also written for a local newspaper. She is a caregiver for her mother and lives with her wonderful husband and their 2 cats in Wesley Chapel FL, where she tends an ever-expanding garden of diverse wildlife including the occasional alligator.

Nests and Shells
By Cheryl A Van Beek

We knew it once,
had looked for it
Each one before was wrong,
but the night we saw it,
we knew.
Walking through its rooms
we fell for it.

All the while it was sizing us up,
the way cats choose their people.
It didn’t matter that in winter
it withheld its warm breath from upstairs,
or that in summer it kept its cool downstairs.
Was it holding back because it knew
what we did not?
We were just passing through.

At the top of a pine tree,
a robin stocked her nest with blue eggs.
When the birds left
a bagel filled the nest–
a squirrel had moved in.

When a new nest called us,
promising a swimming pool and year-round garden,
happy as we were,
we followed it
like hermit crabs changing shells.

When it was time, I cried
in the spot where our canopied swing had swung,
where our eyes
used to sort puzzle pieces of sky
under petal-shaped leaves
of the Horse Chestnut tree.

Now we smile at our old house
as if it were a blue shell
left by cicadas.


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