#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
What a surprise, the warm air, and all the edges of the river, melting glassy ice. For the family holiday party tomorrow, I must finish all the decorating, and this starts outdoors, the gathering of the greens. Across the meadow, I walk past a few baby pine trees, trying to see if there’s a branch or two that might be taken without harm. That’s where I find the tiny nest, fallen on the ground beside them. Indoors, the Christmas tree has been wound in lights for a week but I have yet to decorate it. Now, with the little nest in my hand, it’s time to begin: the first ornament. Tonight, I find this lovely poem, “Nest,” by Jeffrey Harrison, on the Poetry Foundation website. His story is slightly different - his daughter finds the nest on the tree after they buy it and bring it home. I put mine in the tree, and now, it’s time to take out all the birds, the red cardinals go on, and the pine cones and the berries. Tonight, the house is ready for the company tomorrow, my children, their partners, my grown up cousins, my aunts, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers. In spirit, my mother and father, always. But I’m still missing them in person.
. . . .And now it made the tree feel wilder,
a balsam fir growing in our living room,
as though at any moment a bird might flutter
through the house and return to the nest.
And yet, because we’d brought the tree indoors,
we’d turned the nest into the first ornament.
So we wound the tree with strings of lights,
draped it with strands of red beads,
and added the other ornaments, then dropped
two small brass bells into the nest, like eggs
containing music, and hung a painted goldfinch
from the branch above, as if to keep them warm.
Excerpt from “Nest” by Jeffrey Harrison - read the entire poem here.