Claire Kelly has recently completed her creative writing MA at UNB and lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She
has had poems published in Malahat Review, PRISM International, and Branch.
It’s a shame to say the trees are naked
when they’re nest-full.
On my street, twenty-seven abandoned ones:
a sparrow’s the size of an infant’s sock;
squirrel nests—higher than rooftops—
are messy and massive;
the pigeons don’t bother roosting on boughs,
instead they settle in eaves,
on chimneys, on the decorative awnings
of faux Victorian houses.
Used to be, I’d pluck nests down,
see what they were made of—
feathers and string woven in—
and how light they were.
I’d line them up on the basement floor
and study the differences: how thick,
plastered with mud or spit, straw versus twig,
marvel at the absence of extra space:
home, an exact cast of the body,
built and abandoned.
The nests, a fossil record
of birds gone south ‘til spring.
Cluster poise and cluster pose,
but in movement.
My muses of trend and kitsch,
their intriguing structural sway, lovely.
Here in Mazucca’s Lane
there’s time to consider
impact, length of leg.
Fabric shifting in swells.
Possibility of skin.
The lighting’s got to be perfect.
Strobe. Muybridge sequence:
a horse galloping. In slow-mo.