Saturday June 09, 2012

A warm morning at last. Waxwings whistle at the tops of the tall locusts, but from the phoebe nest, only silence: the young have fledged.



    They will discover strength on their wings
    and s00n enough, they will find the sky,
    and they will abandon these nests to fly
    wherever their questions bring them,
    however wild they are, they will ask them:
    How far is the sun from this burnt branch?
    Will they remain as just one of those things?
    Soon enough, even their needy nesting sound
    will give way to breast-beating flutter of wings,
    and they will surely be gone with the first wind
    that scoops them off from an unsteady home
    of inadvertent chances, and catch-as-catch can.
    But there is silence now at the phoebe’s nest–
    the fledglings have flown–Icarus-like must test
    their wings against the sinews of a summer wind.
    Is this uncertain quiet also premature mourning?

    —Albert B. Casuga

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