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Rebuilding (BioScience, September 2020)

Rob Jackson
Journal Volume/Pages: 
70: 832


Jeans hung on the line
between tattered socks and an aqua t-shirt
with Big Wave golden ale stenciled across its back.
The nest peeked optimistically
from a denim pocket, a mix of stolen threads
and bits of sticks collected in a day’s work.

At dusk, I shook out the pants
and a wren launched from pocket to branch,
chattering over grass and cobwebs
and ripped paper strips now littering the deck.
I’d scattered its home in a curl of blue,
the way a tsunami shatters lives,
flattens apartment buildings,
parts flats from foundations, erases shacks
nestled in cluttered pockets and alleys.
Afterwards, people gather to sift through wood and sticks,
pick up splintered furniture and bits of clothing and paper
lying crumpled on the ground.

When the screen door slammed a few days later,
I saw the wren flit off a new nest,
proud and confident that this time it would endure,
would remain safe and secure
now perched on the lamp by the porch.

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