Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy Mary, Mother of God

My youngest granddaughter's night prayers include a Hail Mary. Although we have fallen far from our Catholic roots, Mary is still near to our hearts. The best part of listening to her recite this ancient homage to the Mother is when she whispers, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us 'sisters', now and at the hour of our death." The word, according to the church, is 'sinners'. I like her version so much better.

This sketch and this poem come from the same place in me that loves listening to that sweet bedtime request.


Hello little bird
hop, hop, hopping
from Spring into Fall.
Collecting, inspecting
all manner of twigs,
grass, lint, dog hair,
tiny bits and pieces
to weave into the
very best of nests
which you then place
carelessly, actually
precariously, into
rolled shades, onto
the tiniest of ledges,
into the adjared corners
of shutters, and balanced
on unprotected eves.

In heartbreaking shades of
blue, soft speckled brown,
you leave your hopes for
the future, your contribution to life,
proof of your faith in tomorrow,
in your carefully planned,
exactingly executed but
so carelessly placed incubator.

You will sit for days, faithfully
guarding your laughable fortress,
until the day, that one moment
when you must fly, to eat, to breath,
to scan your surroundings. And that
one moment is all it takes for a stiff breeze,
a squinting human, a hungry snake, a
thieving jay, with no effort at all
to sweep in, to break, to eat your tomorrow,
to send your hopes crashing to the ground.

But you silly little hop, hop, hopping bird,
you collect and inspect, you repeat the
careful crafting, the careless placing
and the hopeful laying of, dreams
and tomorrows. You never stop. I shake my head,
say that you never learn.

I no longer carefully build,
I do not trust my choices of placement for
my hopes and dreams, my faith in tomorrow.
I have learned,
I have stopped.
Then I marvel
when one blustery day, from a precarious
perch, I hear hungry chicks chirp, chirp, chirping.



Alison Gibbs said...

Oh Laura, funny how she says the wrong word and yet you are right, her version is so much better

aleta jacobson said...

I love this poem.

Jack said...

Laura, you are such a talent!