Like a female oriole or robin
I don’t remember
exactly how I became a nest guardian
except that it was April
and light fell through the blooming orchard
as through a pale vault of stained glass.
An oriole building a nest somewhere near
flew from the pasture
back and forth about the orchard
carrying cattle hair, a string or two.
I saw a cupped nest
like a womb suspended in the elements;
the oriole a warrior defending her castle
against the squatter wren and sparrow.
I remember waking
in the black cathedral of night
to hear the cry of a child;
my heart a nest of grass,
my fingers light as feathers
feeling their way
through the dark house.