(Kishan Upadhyay/Unsplash)

I cupped the nest as Rembrandt’s Aristotle
held the bust of Homer and thought
of all those restless flights to ferry twigs
and blades of grass and scraps of bark, and the urge
to fit them in a hoop as perfect as the sky.
Built, some would say by instinct—I saw love,
the flaming care stars lavish on their planets.
Made not to last, but serving for a single season
before the fledglings launch themselves
into the air their wings were made for.

Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist, poet, and author of two biographies. In addition to appearing in Commonweal, his poems have been published in the Alaska Quarterly, the New Ohio Review, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, Writer’s Almanac, This American Life in Poetry, Verse Daily, and other publications. His first poetry collection, What the Dust Doesn’t Know, was published in 2017 by Salmon Poetry.

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Published in the June 2022 issue: View Contents
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