Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Birds’ Nests

Birds’ Nests

By Alfred A. Yuson

The handyman did as he was told,
climbed up the tree to hack off
a few boughs, just enough to allow
the sun to cast more of its blessings
on our front yard’s modest lawn.

Down came a bird’s nest in a flurry
of wood and leaves. On the twiggy pile
it lay, aslant, askew and awry, niched
on a forked branch. Empty. Of any eggs.
Just my luck I thought. And recalled

a collection in a previous household,
up there in my attic-library, where still
they lie atop a shelf of Western lit—
four or five in a row, round, conical,
similar shelters woven for hatchlings.

I had gathered them from the ground,
only, in separate moments of happenstance
over the years—out in the countryside, once
even at a park in the city, our very own
park and city. Without eggs. Past that.

And now I start a new antho? Catalogue?
Picking up the avian home or what was,
yes, supposed to be a home, now empty
of tree and concealment, of course I,
egghead standing on grass, know, can only know.

That what? Indeedy, way station. As homes go.
Thank you, tree. For reminding me.


Alfred A. Yuson has authored numerous poetry collections, novels, short fiction, essays, children’s stories, and biographies. He has edited many other titles. His many distinctions include the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair, entry into the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from the Writers Union of the Philippines for lifetime achievement.

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