I am a lost blue velveteen hair ribbon with frayed ends,
twenty seven twigs and bits of moss and grass gathered
from the earth beneath the red bud tree. I am feathers
and bellydown swiped from a rabbit’s burrow, spied
from winged air. I am built into the cradle at the
pin oak’s elbow and am canopied by its leaves.
In the cradle, I also cradle. Three white ovoids with
tan freckles rest inside my curves. I wait, as I have for
eleven days before. They wait with me, the ones
who built me twig by twig, added the ovoids one by one,
rearranged them twice each day. The one with color pulled
from mosses and rocks and new formed bark has not departed
the oak today. She flits from my edge to the end of
the branch and back again, cocks her head as if she listens for
something faint and far. Down and feathers move in breezeless
air, stirred by an ovoid dance. The one with feathers brushed
with the sun joins his mate and they watch the ovoid topple,
fracture, fall open, to reveal a pink squirm, half mouth.
My makers dart – sky, ground, me – until the squirm is round with
seed, seed, seed. Soon, there are three squirms and my edge wears
smooth from landing after landing. Down and feathers
become dung and still – seed, seed, seed. Squirms grow feathers
of their own, cyclone still air in the cradle, slip to the edge
and hop to this branch, that. One day, they stretch feathers
to tips and catch the air. They do not return. I sit cradled, alone,
blue woven ribbon matching daytime sky, as the sun
rises and sets, as the moon slides into place, as the stars
gild the leaves above, until my makers return to pull
the blue from my side to add to a new cradle in the heart
of the burning bush five feet from the pin oak’s fingertips.