by Scott Edward Anderson
The house finch nest in my porch light
has a curious architecture,
made entirely of found things:
dried seed heads from last year’s columbine,
dusky strands of my daughter’s hair,
small sticks, rose thorns, bits of string,
a gold thread from a cigarette pack wrapper.
Inside, wool-lined, cotton and fleece,
it holds three eggs, blue with tawny flecks.
The female finch sits on the nest
for an unusually long time; so long,
I fear she is mistaken or my messing
with the nest has disrupted gestation.
She picked her mate for the redness
of his head and chest, proxy for feeding prowess.
In a few weeks all will be gone:
cherry blossoms drifting on air,
dogwoods blooming, oaks leafing out,
and the female finch finding another mate,
to start a second family this season.
Who was it that said, “Doubt is a privilege
of the faithful”? At least, I think someone
said it or should have. Then it was me,
me finding another mate, another home,
another reason. And I saw they swept out
the finch nest from that old porch light
as soon as I was gone.
Scott Edward Anderson is the author of Fallow Field (Aldrich Press, 2013) and Walks in Nature’s Empire (The Countryman Press, 1995). He has been a Concordia Fellow at the Millay Colony for the Arts and received the Nebraska Review Award.