Unprepared for Take Off


For weeks we’ve waited, peeking through the lacy front door curtain as a pair of house finches set to keeping their own house in our covered entryway. One day there was nothing but lazy disinterest in the swale of the too-late-removed Easter wreath. The next, I found a mesh of twigs, sprigs and finch spit. And inside I spied an egg, light sky blue with reddish dots at one end. Eventually, five potential finches grew in the goo within their thinly armored launchpads. Mama finch would sit dutifully upon her someday quints, bursting for the skeleton red maple out front only when the tread of threat approached the doorway. Her mate would stand astride the gutter along the roofline, staring red-headed avian wrath upon any who might crash their birthday party. But today, they’re gone, taken off, their nest deserted, save for that first egg. At the bottom of the little crèche I found some feathers and scraps of shell. I doubt they just up and took off. I never saw the feathered parents feeding any gape-beaked peepers, never saw them fletch in drab brown glory to arrow off into a world where crows and kestrels, house cats and hawks could end in a flash a life barely begun or even long-lived. Did I miss their birth and fighter jet scramble into those cruel pale blue skies or did something cruel from those skies scramble those lovely ovate spheroids for breakfast one morning while I pondered my flown-the-nest babies’ last time eating breakfast with me. I’ll wait one more day to take down the wreath. Now it’s a memorial to hope and potential enmeshed with a mystery. A sky blue Sunday kind of mystery, like a certain resurrection. With blood red dots.

Looooong prose poem for Day 27 of NaPoWriMo 2016. Today’s Poem-A-Day prompt was for a “take off” poem. I eschewed one about a stripper I spent a night talking with in my reporter days after what I observed this afternoon outside our front door. Maybe I will do the stripper story…someday. After all, I’m thinking of doing the Story-A-Day May thing next month…because I’m a crazy writer who thrives on self-flagellation of the writing kind. A veritable Francis of Assisi, Brother Ass, to my own written words.

3 thoughts on “Unprepared for Take Off

    • Unfortunately, I’m 98% sure they never hatched. And that low-flying hawk continually dragging his shadow across my front lawn might be the reason why. Thanks, Elaine. Safe travels!!

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