Robin’s nest, tucked
into a fork of the camellia tree:
a cup that once contained two eggs.
The gestation time has now
drifted away, stray daylily
leaves dangle down, fall
from the weave of the rest,
a scooped-out moon nursery
There were days of two yellow beaks,
necks stretched out: washed
intestines waiting for fill,
pink-mottled bodies, their gullets
visible below the giant
closed eyes, always wanting more.
Below half-pulled shades, I
peeked at them over the top
of a fan: my bird blind.
Tiny heads poked up, maws lifted,
their mother rushed off and back,
off and back out in a July heat spell
her beak waved worms,
her white-rimmed eyes were targets.
She’d done this many times
before, driven to it repeatedly.
That kind of devotion
outside my window should restore
faith that some small
scene from the natural
world is not falling
into chaos. It’s good news:
nest and fledge and fly, but
ask their mother how it went,
or if those eggs were hers.
Praying mantis hunts for bugs –
hangs on a branch with the promise
to only eat bodies, not wings, drops
perfectly patterned evidence at the scene
and moves on, turning a triangle head
to assess whether you might be prey.
Waiting and killing, is that it?
We’ve all been waiting for one thing
or another: desires deferred because,
of course, once emerged “they”
will swarm and drink the life out of stuff
with piercing-sucking mouthparts, then drip
honeydew from their butts that attracts bees
and aphids then it all turns to sooty mold.
How long have we been on the screen?
Bees are in the crocus, so who cares
if some woodlice in leaf litter
get disturbed? We were told dandelions
must proliferate, which makes the lawn
full of blowballs then broadleaf weeds.
Here come the herbicides and leaf-blowers.
Why the escalation? Why the hate?
In summer, we want to watch
fireflies light up as bats echolocate
mosquitoes, as baby birds, their bellies
filled with insect mash, sleep
near the wasps’ nest in the eaves.
We want to eat the bugs, we want
to eat each other, if we’re hungry.
© Tedo Wyman
Tedo Wyman, poet living in the Hudson River Valley, has been published in Flights, Nixes Mate Review, Perceptions Magazine and RiverRiver Journal. Her career has included work as a pianist and chamber musician.